FAS | Nuke | Guide | Iraq | Missile |||| Index | Search |

Project 395
Condor II

Beginning in 1984 or 1985, Iraq started a cooperative effort with Egypt, and Argentina to develop a high-technology, two-stage missile system designed for a range of around 1,000 km, called the BADR 2000 in Iraq and Egypt and the Condor II by Argentina. This missile was to be built first as a two-stage rocket (solid fuel technology).

The two-stage version was 10.30 meters in length and 0.80 meters in diameter; it weighed approximately 4,800 kilograms. Unlike the Argentinean Condor-II, which had a solid-fuel engine in the first stage and a liquid-fuel engine in the second stage, Iraq favored solid-fuel engines in both stages. With this configuration, the payload is supposedly 350 kilograms, and the range approximately 1,000 kilometers.

A three-stage version was being discussed as a variation on this, where the first and second stages were to be equipped with solid fuel motors and the third stage with a liquid engine. The further development and future production of the liquid-fuel engine of the Argentine Condor-II second stage was being pursued in tandem with the Iraqi project. There is evidence that the two-stage version could be equipped with this engine as a third stage. Such a rocket would then be intended as a space delivery vehicle for limited payloads.

The program was supposed to be realized in close cooperation with the special organization, the Arab League Industrial Development Organisation (ALIDO), with its headquarters in Baghdad. The Egyptian Ministry of Defense, working with financiers from Iraq, contracted with the Argentines to produce the missile. Argentina was to provide the development of the production site, Iraq was to put up the financing, and Egypt was to procure the technology. A consortium of mostly European firms handled various portions of the project. Over a dozen US firms were directly involved in Project 395. The equiment and technology suplied by US firms involved in Project 395 were used to construct part of the infrastructure (e.g. buildings, utilities, fortification, etc.) necessary for Iraq to mass produce the Condor II missile.

The progress was slow due in part to the lack of indigenous technology and the need to covertly acquire the technology and materials used in production of ballistic missiles abroad. By 1987 or early 1988, Iraq became unhappy with the slow pace of the project and suspicious that is partners might be siphoning off some of the billions invested. Iraq experienced difficulties with the supplier governments with regard to the provision of the missiles as well as support and production equipment. After contract delays and in an effort to receive some of the contracted items, Iraq signed another contract, in 1987, for the provision of only 17 complete BADR 2000 missiles and missile ground support equipment. Iraq soon realized that it would not receive any of the contracted missiles, nor most of the contracted infrastructure.

By 1988, Iraq was taking a much greater role in the Condor II project. In summer 1988, Abdel Kader Helmy was arrested in California for illegally transferring technology for the Condor II to Egypt. Iraq terminated the contracts with the supplier Government in late 1988. Iraq declared that, in the beginning of 1989, it attempted to complete the BADR 2000 project by itself, in particular the production of solid propellant motors. This time it decided to deal directly with the supplier companies or their middlemen, as well as to rely on indigenous capabilities. Through the Technical Corps for Special Projects [TECO], which was a MIMI affiliate, agreements were signed with many of the original contractors who had worked in the consortium. At that time, TECO assigned the designation project 395 to the Condor II Program. Some additional materials, equipment and technologies were received by Iraq in 1989 and 1990.

Project 395 had at least three sites in Iraq, each of which has a different function and its own project number. In addition, a missile R&D site was erected in northern Iraq. Despite all efforts, though, the Condor apparently was not mass produced in time for the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.

In this effort, Iraq constructed sophisticated production facilities and imported high- technology production equipment for the fabrication of the first solid-propellant stage of this system. The UN Special Commission assesses, however, that no complete BADR 2000 missiles were produced by Iraq. The Commission has supervised and verified the destruction of all known items, production equipment and infrastructure directly associated with that programme. The Commission believes that Iraq did not acquire any technology or equipment for the production of any other aspects or components of that system, e.g., guidance and control and launchers. [S/1995/284]

Sources and Resources

FAS | Nuke | Guide | Iraq | Missile |||| Index | Search |


Maintained by Webmaster
Updated Friday, June 30, 2000 5:33:38 PM