Iran has invested heavily in missiles of all sorts. They have range, do not require runways or aircraft carriers as bases and less expensive than other choices.
Surface to Air Missiles
HQ-2 or or Hongqi-2 (红旗二号导弹) are anti-aircraft missiles based upon the Soviet SA-2 design. Still dangerous, they are vulnerable to modern electronic warfare and require a stationery site to operate. Iran has them at Bushehr, Bandar Abbas, Esfahan, Arak and Natanz.
The SA-3 has a shorter effective range and lower engagement altitude than either of its predecessors and also flies slower, but due to its two-stage design it is more effective against more maneuverable targets. It is also able to engage lower flying targets than the previous systems, and being more modern it is much more resistant to ECM than the SA-2. Their presence is uncertain in Iran.
The NPO Almaz S-200 Angara, NATO reporting name SA-5 Gammon, is a very long range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed in the 1960s to defend large areas from bomber attack or other strategic aircraft. Each battalion has 6 single-rail missile launchers for the 10.8 m (35 ft) long missiles and a fire control radar. It can be linked to other, longer-range radar systems.
The system utilizes radio semi active guidance with mid-course correction and has, for the first time in a Russian system, terminal active radar homing, which is far more accurate at long range than the command guidance method used by the S-75 Dvina and other missiles. The existence of an optional terminal passive radar homing mode for use against AEW aircraft remains unconfirmed. Peak missile speed is around Mach 8 and the single-shot kill probability is quoted as 0.85, presumably against a high altitude bomber-type target. Iran has sites at Bushehr, Bandar Abbas, and Esfahan
The 9K32 Strela-2 (Russian: Cтрела, NATO reporting name SA-7 Grail) is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system with a high explosive warhead and passive infrared homing guidance. Broadly comparable in performance with the US Army FIM-43 Redeye, which was designed in 1959, it was the first generation of Soviet man-portable SAMs, entering service in 1968, with series production starting in 1970.
The MIM-23 Hawk (Homing All the Way Killer) is a U.S. medium range surface-to-air missile. The Hawk was initially designed to destroy aircraft and was later adapted to destroy other missiles in flight. The missile entered service in 1960, and a program of extensive upgrades has kept it from becoming obsolete. It was superseded by the MIM-104 Patriot in United States Army service by 1994. It was finally phased out of U.S. service in 2002, the last U.S. users, the U.S. Marine Corps replacing it with the man-portable infrared-guided visual range FIM-92 Stinger. The missile was also produced outside the US in Western Europe, Japan and Iran.
Although the U.S. never used the Hawk in combat, it has been employed numerous times by other nations. Approximately 40,000 of the missiles were produced. Jane’s reported that the original system’s single shot kill probability was 0.56; I-Hawk improved this to 0.85.
The 9K35 Strela-10 is a highly mobile, visually aimed, optical/infra-red guided, low-altitude, short-range surface to air missile system. “9K35” is its GRAU designation; its NATO reporting name is SA-13 “Gopher”.
The 2K12 “Kub” (Russian: 2К12 “Куб”; English: cube) (NATO reporting name: SA-6 “Gainful”) mobile surface-to-air missile system is a Soviet low to medium-level air defense system designed to protect ground forces from air attack. “2К12” is the GRAU designation of the system.
The Buk missile system (Russian: “Бук”; “beech” (tree), /bʊk/) is a family of self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems developed by the Soviet Union and its successor state, the Russian Federation, and designed to fight cruise missiles, smart bombs, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Buk is a mobile, radar-guided surface to air missile (SAM) missile system with all four main components — acquisition and targeting radars, a command element, missile launchers, and a logistics element — mounted on tracked vehicles. This allows the system to move with other military forces and relocate to make it a more difficult target to find than a fixed SAM system.
Surface to Surface Missiles
The Shang You or SY-series and the Hai Ying or HY-series were early Chinese anti-ship missiles. They were derived from the Soviet P-15 Termit missile.
The HY-2 missile features a round nose accommodating the radar seeker, a pair of mid-mounted delta wings on the middle section of missile body, and three tail control surfaces. The missile is powered by a liquid-fuel rocket motor, with a solid rocket booster attached under the missile fuselage.
The HY-2 is launched from land-based launcher and flies at an altitude of 1,000m during the initial stage of the flight. After the missile switched to the cruising mode, the flight altitude was reduced to 100~300m. During the final stage of the flight, the missile switched on its radar seeker and dives to an altitude of 8m until it hits the target. The single-shot hit probability is estimated to be 90%.
Scud is a series of tactical ballistic missiles developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was exported widely to other countries, in particular third world countries. The term comes from the NATO reporting name Scud which was attached to the missile by Western intelligence agencies. The Russian names for the missile are the R-11 (the first version), R-17 and R-300 Elbrus (later developments). The name Scud has been widely used to refer to these missiles and the wide variety of derivative variants developed in other countries based on the Soviet design.
The Scud B was the most prolific of the series, with a production run estimated at 7,000. It served in 32 countries and four countries besides the Soviet Union manufactured copied versions. The first launch was conducted in 1961, and it entered service in 1964.
It could carry nuclear, chemical, conventional or fragmentation weapons.The new MAZ-543 vehicle was officially designated 9P117 Uragan. The launch sequence could be conducted autonomously, but was usually directed from a separate command vehicle. The missile is raised to a vertical position by means of hydraulically powered cranes, which usually takes four minutes, while the total sequence lasts about one hour.
Western sources have evidence that Iran seeks a nuclear weapon that can be carried by the Shahab-3 or Scud D, an advanced version of the Scud-B.
Air to Surface Anti Shipping missiles
Iran was the first export customer of Chinese C-802 missile. The contract was signed in 1995 but was canceled when 60 missiles were delivered due to US pressure. After that Iran started a program to reverse engineer C-802 The Noor is primarily launched from the ground.
Nasr-1 Is a domestically-manufactured Iranian short range anti ship missile capable of evading radar. It has the capability of destroying 1,500-ton targets such as small warships like frigates. Nasr-1 missile can be launched from both inland bases and offshore military vessels, and is being modified to be fired from helicopters and submarines.
The Qader is a medium-range anti-ship cruise missile developed by Iran. The missile called “Qader” (Able) is built indigenously by Iranian scientists and has a high destructive ability against coastal targets and warships. The missile, which was unveiled in August 2011, has a range of 200 km and is described by Iranian officials as “the most powerful and precise missile of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy”