Fath 360, a new Iranian ballistic missile guided by satellite, is comparable to the HIMARS that the US delivered to Ukraine during that country’s confrontation with Russia.
During recent military drills, Iran conducted a test of its homegrown Fath 360 satellite-guided ballistic missile. The US High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) used in Ukraine resembles the Fath 360 in appearance.
The Fath 360 short-range surface-to-surface missile and the armaments it is paired with were tested by Iran last week, according to a report from the Fars news agency, during the Eghtedar 1401 military exercise in Nasrabad, Isfahan.
In terms of both architecture and operation, Fath 360 is similar to HIMARS.
Tasnim News reports that missiles can be launched at Mach 3, then once connected to satellites, they can be launched at Mach 4 to quickly locate and destroy targets. Additionally, Fath was reported by the Press news agency. The Fateh family of ballistic missiles has been reduced to create the 360, enabling for the mounting of more missiles on trucks or launchers.
The Fath 360 missile measures 4 metres in length, 30 cm in diameter, weighs 850–1,100 kg, has a payload weighing 150 kg, and has a range of 80–100 km. The truck-mounted launcher for the Fath 360, which has 6, 4, or 2 launch tubes, can carry several missiles due to its relatively small size and light weight.
Fath 360’s design shares a lot with HIMARS thanks to these elements.experts claims that the M31 GMLRS missile, which the US has also given to HIMARS operating units in Ukraine, can be launched from a 12-launcher M270 MRLS heavy artillery or a 6-tube HIMARS heavy artillery and has a range of up to 70 kilometres at Mach 2.5.
The analysts estimate that a series of six HIMARS missiles can be launched in 25 to 30 seconds with an accuracy of 5 to 10 metres from the place of impact.
The cost of each HIMARS launcher is $5.6 million, and the cost of each M13 bullet is $168,000. The US is currently developing the GMLRS increased range ammunition, which will have a 150km range and go into production in 2023.
With 2- and 4-tube launchers, the Fath 360 will be given to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in 2021. The IRGC ground forces will be able to fire short-range precision fire in large quantities against enemy air defences, while the IRGC Aerospace Force launches longer-ranged attacks.
Utilizing small mobile rocket launchers has become popular.
The Fath 360 may herald the transition to more compact wheeled multiple launch rocket systems (MRLS). Larger, more powerful weapons with the ability to fire 12 missiles apiece are the Russian B-30 Smerch and the US MRLS M270. These systems do, however, nevertheless have significant flaws despite their great power.
Retired US Army General Mark Hertling claimed in a Newsweek piece that the wheeled HIMARS travels more quickly than its ponderous crawler M270 sibling.
HIMARS, a truck-mounted rocket launcher, is easier to operate and repair than heavier systems like the M270. The HIMARS’s lower size makes it easier to train and allows for a smaller team of gunners to fire, move, and reload swiftly.
According to Western experts, Iran might have learned about the efficiency of the HIMARS rockets that the US had given to Ukraine.
Although Ukraine only had 26 HIMARS launchers as of the beginning of September and it is unknown how many M31 rounds were available, their forces have made use of HIMARS’ speed and mobility to reload swiftly while dodging Russian counterfire.
Similar to how the lighter Fateh and Fajr launchers, the Fath 360 is more nimble in mobile warfare in Iran as well as the mountainous, desert, and urban environments of the Middle East.
Additionally, the lower size of Fath 360 in comparison to Fateh and Fajr may boost survivability while utilising the “shot and run” strategy employed by Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel and the Houthi rebels who oppose Saudi Arabia.
The intelligence that the United States gave to Ukraine contributed to HIMARS’ efficacy in Ukraine. The “directing” of Ukraine’s HIMARS batteries to attack Russian command positions and ammunition depots was significantly aided by US intelligence.
Although Ukraine may not be able to employ all of its HIMARS launchers across the front lines, careful deployment, precise targeting of important targets, and real-time information assistance have allowed this system to succeed strategically in combat.
The GLONASS satellite navigation system of Russia will probably be used by Iran’s Fath 360 missile to provide targeting information.
Military Cognizance claims that in response to Washington assassinating IRGC General Qassem Soleimani, Russia gave Iran access to GLONASS during the attack on Al Asad airbase (used by US troops in Iraq) in January 2020. According to the source, during the attack on the Iraqi base, Iran launched 19 missiles from its territory, 17 of which found their target.