Fateh-110 is considered a suitable choice for Russia, especially in the context that the conflict with Ukraine is still ongoing and the demand for missiles is still huge.

According to Newsweek, Russia may purchase Iranian-made missiles at the end of October, as the relationship between Moscow and Tehran becomes increasingly closer amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

On October 11, the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that in August and September 2023, senior military officials from Russia and Iran had discussions about Iran’s advanced weapons. The two countries “may sign an agreement on drones and missiles” when restrictions imposed by the United Nations expire on October 18. This means that Russia can purchase Iranian-made missiles in a few weeks.


An option the Kremlin is considering is said to be the Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missile, as well as other long-range missiles produced by Tehran. Fateh-110 is Iran’s short-range tactical ballistic missile, developed in 1997 and in service with the Iranian army since 2002. Mr. Fabian Hinz, a researcher in defense and military analysis at the UK-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), said that in the 1990s, Fateh-110 was considered a “rather inaccurate missile”, but Iran later developed improved versions with greater accuracy.

Responding to Newsweek, Mr. Hinz said that in recent years Iran has made many advances in missile development. Improved versions based on the original Fateh-110 prototype are considered more effective and accurate. Mr. Hinz commented that the latest version of Fateh-110 is currently a precision guided missile, mobile, effective and easy to use.

Fateh-110 missile uses solid fuel, the missile has a length of 8.86m, a diameter of 0.61m, can carry up to 500kg of explosives and is said to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The rocket is designed with 3 triangle wings in the front and 4 wings in the rear to maintain stability. Fateh-110 has a range of 300km – 500km and reaches a speed of 3,700 km/h. This puts them on par with the US military’s tactical missile system (ATACMS) or the German-made Taurus long-range cruise missile.

Mr. Hinz argued that the Fateh and ATACMS missiles both use the same navigation system, although the Fateh is larger and heavier, while the ATACMS is more accurate and reliable but more expensive. For Russia, cheap missiles have proven effective on the Ukrainian battlefield. Russia has been conducting regular and continuous missile attacks for months, which has caused a lot of damage and pressure on Ukraine’s air defense system.

Although some analysts say that Russia is running out of missiles due to its large use on the battlefield in Ukraine. But according to Mr. Hinz, Russia still reserves a certain number of missiles, enough to deal with the possibility of a conflict with the North Atlantic military bloc (NATO). Cruise missiles and ballistic missiles can only be used once, if you want to use them for all the attack missions that need to be carried out, it will become very expensive, due to the large number of missiles.

Russia also has many other options but the costs are greater. According to Mr. Fabian Hoffmann, a researcher at Oslo University (Norway) told Newsweek that domestic cruise missiles such as Kalibr, Kh-101 or Kh-555 cost up to 1.7 million USD each. Mr. Ian Williams, Deputy Director of CSIS’s Missile Defense Project, also said that the cost of the Kh-101 missile is about 1.2 million USD. Meanwhile, the cost of a Shahed suicide UAV produced by Iran only ranges from 20,000 – 50,000 USD.

Another reason to choose the Fateh-110 is that this missile can attack targets at a higher speed and cause greater destruction than the Shahed suicide drone. In addition, Fateh-110 missiles are also more difficult to intercept than Shahed UAVs. The American-made Patriot air defense system can intercept missiles quite effectively, but it is difficult for it in a large-scale attack. Obviously, when designing the Fateh-110, Iran considered and took into account the capabilities of the Patriot.

It is unclear whether Iran is willing to sell the above missiles to Russia, but missiles such as Fateh-110, Fateh-313 and Zolfaghar are all on the export list. This shows that Iran is capable of supplying them to Russia. Last September, during a visit to Iran, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu inspected a series of Iran’s high-tech weapons, including a number of Iran’s domestic missiles.

According to Russian state news agency TASS, during a meeting with Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani, Mr. Shoigu said that “Sanction pressure on Russia and Iran has been ineffective, while Russia-Iran cooperation is reaching new heights.”


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