How Did Iran Manage to Reverse-Engineer a U.S. Howitzer with Soviet Features?


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Here’s What You Need To Remember: The Raad 2 is a high instance of what the Iranian protection trade does easiest—retaining legacy weapon programs alive via a aggregate of reverse-engineering copies of overseas {hardware}, and mating programs.

This Iranian self-propelled howitzer is part American, part Russian, and it sounds as if constructed completely in Iran.


Iran’s home-grown fingers producer, the Defense Industries Organization, is accountable for developing rather a wide variety of Iran’s army {hardware}. DIO is an Iranian state-owned staff that has reverse-engineered a great amount of kit for the Iranian army—and one in all their self-propelled artillery items isn’t any exception.

Raad 2

The Raad 2, or “Thunder” is self-propelled howitzer regionally produced by way of DIO in Iran and is a ordinary union of an initially American-designed turret and a Soviet-designed hull. Although the precise specs of the Raad 2 don’t seem to be recognized, inferences will also be made by way of having a look at what is understood in regards to the platforms it’s in accordance with.

The father or mother turret comes from the American M109A1, a rather changed variant of the M109 self-propelled howitzer. The A1 is rather equivalent, however has a longer barrel that gave the A1 a longer vary than its father or mother—up to 18,000 meters, or simply over 11 miles. The Raad 2 turns out to have simply this turret, although it’s more than likely a reverse-engineered Iranian reproduction, somewhat than the unique.

The spherical each the M109 and the Raad 2 hearth is the NATO-standard 155 millimeter round, which is likely one of the maximum not unusual artillery rounds on the earth. Some resources declare that the Iranian model has a longer vary than the American M109—about 30 kilometers, or virtually 19 miles. The Raad 2 stocks the similar muzzle brake machine at its American counterpart for countering the top quantity of draw back generated by way of the gun, and will probably stir up to 5 rounds a minute.


The Raad 2’s hull turns out to be the Iranian Boragh, itself a reproduction of the Soviet-designed BMP-1, a 1960s-era amphibious armored staff provider. Like the BMP-1, the Boragh has twin tracks, although the hull is an ordinary selection for a cell artillery piece, because the platform is reasonably small, and to start with look lacks the suspension and monitor width to make stronger a massive artillery machine just like the Raad 2. Most self-propelled howitzers don’t seem to be amphibious just like the BMP-1, due to their top curb weight, which has a tendency to be rather top-heavy.

The Raad 2 most likely has a group of 3, equivalent to a tank group—gunner, commander, and driving force. Some later fashions were reported to have a upper output diesel engine of Ukrainian starting place.


The Raad 2 is a high instance of what the Iranian protection trade does easiest—retaining legacy weapon programs alive via a aggregate of reverse-engineering copies of overseas {hardware}, and mating programs—just like the Raad 2—that might no longer seem to belong in combination. The Raad 2 most likely nonetheless has many extra years of provider ahead of retiring.

Caleb Larson holds a Master of Public Policy stage from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. He lives in Berlin and writes on U.S. and Russian overseas and protection coverage, German politics, and tradition.

This article first gave the impression final month and is being republished due to reader pastime.

Image: Wikimedia.

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