According to Uzi Rubin, founder of the Arrow missile and a former head of the Homa Missile Defense Agency, Iran can also take unguided rockets like the Zelzal – which are also in Hizbullah’s hands – and turn them into guided rockets with ranges topping 220 km.
“This is an original Iranian project; we don’t see it anywhere else,” Rubin noted in a recent briefing at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
The second major breakthrough is in the propulsion systems, which Iran has succeeded in upgrading from liquid to solid fuel. The main difference is that a missile that operates on liquid fuel needs to be fueled very close to launch, making it easier to discover with surveillance satellites or hovering aircraft. Solid-fuel missiles have a significantly longer shelf life and can be stored in underground silos for a long time, allowing the Iranians to just lift their cover and launch.
It is not an easy task though to assess Iran’s progress in missile development.