Mashad Airbase

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Last Updated: December 1, 2010
Other Name: Masskhad; Meshed
Location: Mashad, Khorasan
Subordinate To: Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)
Size: Two asphalt runways plus facilities
Facility Status: Operational

In 2000, Iran launched the second flight test of a Shahab-3 missile from Mashhad Airbase in northeastern Iran. [1] According to Gary Samore, "the missile was launched from a transporter erector-launcher (TEL) under operational conditions" and impacted 850km from the airbase, and 500 to 700km short of its maximum range. [2] The test demonstrated technicians had successfully integrated the North Korean engine with Iranian missile sub-systems. [3]

The significance of Mashhad Airbase as a launch point for ballistic missiles stems from its strategic location in northeastern Iran. However, it is unknown whether Iran permanently stores or deploys missiles on or in the vicinity of the base. Russian expert Andrei Frolov asserts that facilities in Mashhad produce solid-fueled engines for missiles. [4]

Sources:
[1] Gary Samore, ed., Iran's Strategic Weapons Programmes: A Net Assessment (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2005), p. 101.
[2] Gary Samore, ed., Iran's Strategic Weapons Programmes: A Net Assessment (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2005), p. 101.
[3] Steve Rodan, ed., "Iran Now Able to Deploy Shahab-3," Jane's Defence Weekly, 22 March 2002, www.janes.com.
[4] Andrei Frolov, "Iran's Delivery Systems Capabilities," Security Index, No. 2 (82), Vol. 13, Summer/Fall 2007, PIR Center, p. 31.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.