IRAQ SPACE AGENCY
ON THE MOON
by James LAngelle
AL-BATTANI CENTER, Baghdad Space Research Center
Location: Baghdad, Jadiriyah district, 5km SW of city center; SRC is situated next to Baghdad University and the National Monitoring Directorate Subordinate to: Military Industrialization Commission Primary Function: Space research, including remote sensing and satellite communications
The Space Research Center (SRC) occupied several floors of a seven-story building located on the grounds of Baghdad University. One floor within the building housed a Ba'ath party office. Before the first Gulf War, SRC fell under the jurisdiction of the Scientific Research Council. During that time, its missile-related activities included work on the first stage of the Al-'Aabed Space Launch Vehicle. SRC also designed and developed a rudimentary satellite though it was never launched; the satellite remained on display in the post-war years. After the war, SRC apparently returned to its central tasking of space-related research, although it conducted ballistics studies for missile entities and may have been involved in a post-war study on a space launch vehicle using SA-2-type engines.
During their inspections, UNMOVIC teams found that Al-Battani was providing the telemetry systems for the Al-Samoud flight-tests.(10/03--nti.org)
AL ABID (Al Aabed) MISSILE--
|Intermediate range ballistic missile. IOC: 1995. Year: 1995. Country: Iraq. Total Mass: 48,000 kg. Core Diameter: 2.29 m. Total Length: 22.87 m. Span: 2.29 m. Maximum range: 1,900 km. Boost Propulsion: Storable liquid rocket.(astronautix.com)|
|Saddam’s ballistic missile programme was remarkable in that he was able to embark upon multi-stage designs only five years after setting out to acquire a longer-range Scud capability. On 5 December 1989 Iraq launched a 25 meter long rocket that it claimed was the first stage of a multi-stage Space Launch Vehicle (SLV). Known as the Al Abid (or Al Aabed), this first stage used five clustered Al-Hussein motors and reached an altitude of 12,000 metres (40,000 ft) during the test. A video of the launch released by the Iraqis showed a three stage system and although the second and third stages of the system were later revealed to have been dummies, it is believed that the second stage was intended to be a further Al Hussein motor with the third stage derived from a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM). The Al Abid would thus have weighed some 48 tonnes and carried a payload of some 750 kg, sufficient to deliver a chemical or small nuclear warhead, over a range of at least 2,500 km.|
HUGO DE OLIVEIRA PIVA
Maj.-Brig.-do-Ar HUGO DE OLIVEIRA PIVA
Diretor do Centro Técnico Aeroespacial, cta, brazil
de 17.01.84 a 26.01.87
|The speed with which Iraq was able to develop an indigenous ballistic missile programme was also due in part to the import of foreign expertise. At various stages, Iraq sought assistance from Argentina, with whom it collaborated on the abortive Condor/Badr 2000 programme, China, France, the then East Germany, and others. A major role was also played by a Brazilian specialist, Major General Hugo de Oliveira Piva, formerly director of Brazil's Aerospace Technology Center and the leader of Brazil's programme to convert the Sonda IV sounding rocket into a nuclear-capable IRBM. Piva and a 23-man team were hired in the late 1980s to help Iraq develop two three-stage, 1,500 km-range ballistic missiles, the Al Abid and Tammuz. Work on the Al Abid was also assisted by Canadian Super Gun designer Dr Gerald Bull. The 48-ton Al Abid, using a first stage of five clustered Scud motors, a second stage of two Scud motors and a new, Brazilian-designed third stage, was never completed. But Iraq's ability to develop such a programme only five years after setting out to acquire longer-range missiles is still remarkable. Piva's team left Iraq on the eve of the 1990 Gulf War..(cdiss.org)|
Fohla De Sao Paulo reports that between October 1988 and June 1990, Brazilian technicians from the company Engenteria de Sistemas de Controle e Automacao (ESCA) provided consulting services to Iraq for the installation of a simulation laboratory for missile and satellite guidance and control. Descartes de Souza Teixeira, the engineer who coordinated ESCA's work for Iraq, denied that experts involved in the project had been consulted by the Iraqis on how to improve the Scud missile. However, another ESCA engineer claimed he answered several Iraqi questions on missile guidance and control. The Scud, which originally had a range of 270km, was increased through Iraqi modifications to 600km. Retired Brigadier General Hugo de Oliveira Piva, president of the HOP consulting firm, does not think that Iraq has successfully established a guidance and control simulation lab. HOP experts have also been in Iraq assisting in the development of technology for the Piranha missile. --Fohla De Sao Paulo, 6 February 1991, p. A12, in "Consulting for Installation," Nuclear Developments, 25 February 1991, p. 16.
|3/10/04--Boeing has won a $35 million contract to provide telecommunications services to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq using the Boeing-built Thuraya satellite communications system.Boeing also will supply Thuraya handsets and other communications hardware, and has established a customer support operation. Two customer help desks have been set up in Iraq offering user training, system installation and logistics support.The Thuraya mobile communications system serves a region of more than 2.3 billion people throughout Europe, the Middle East, North and Central Africa, and Central and South Asia. Boeing Satellite Systems built the complete turnkey system under a contract signed in September 1997. This included the manufacture of two high-power Boeing geosynchronous-orbit mobile communications satellites, ground facilities and user handsets. The system began commercial operations in mid-2001. The Thuraya satellites were launched by Sea Launch, a company in which Boeing has a 40 percent ownership stake. (spacedaily.com)|
1/6/03--UN weapons inspectors Sunday made the most dramatic use witnessed thus far of their authority to freeze both exits and entrances to any site where they are working, confining thousands of people at a sprawling government research complex, including the visiting Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations, for almost six hours.
Ambassador Mohammed Douri said he had stopped for what he thought would be a quick personal visit around 9 a.m. to the National Monitoring Directorate, the Iraqi liaison office with the inspectors, which is housed at the complex, when the UN team announced that no one could leave.--A team of 21 research inspectors went to the research campus Sunday, 14 to carry out inspections and another seven to run security. The complex houses a variety of research organizations including Iraq's space agency, which is trying to build a satellite but has also been consulted on weapons systems. (iht.com)
4/91--TEXT: 1. A SUBSIDIARY OF THE CHINA NORTH INDUSTRIES GROUP HAD INITIALLY SOLD IRAQ A SMALL AMOUNT OF LITHIUM HYDROXIDE, ONE OF THE RAW MATERIALS USABLE IN THE PRODUCTION OF NERVE GAS AND HYDROGEN WEAPONS (SIC). JUST PRIOR TO THE START OF "DESERT SHIELD/STORM", CHINA HAD AGREED TO SELL IRAQ 10 TONS OF LITHIUM HYDROXIDE AS A "HIGH ENERGY" FUEL FOR THE "IRAQ SPACE PROGRAM." THE LITHIUM HYDROXIDE IS A PRODUCT OF A CHEMICAL PLANT LOCATED IN CHENGDE, HEBEI PROVINCE. SINCE THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION WITH IRAQ WAS CONDUCTED BY A SUBSIDIARY (NO FURTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME) OF THE CHINA NORTH INDUSTRIES GROUP, THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CONSIDER THIS TO BE A GOVERNMENT-LEVEL TRANSACTION. THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT'S SOLE INTEREST IS TO OBTAIN FOREIGN CURRENCY.--(defense dept. via fas.org)