NOOR | Iran’s First Military Satellite Launched
Context: Iran recently announced that it successfully launched Noor, the nation’s first military satellite.
Key Details about NOOR
- The satellite, dubbed “Noor” or light, was sent into orbit using a long-range rocket.
- Such a launch raised concerns among experts on whether the technology used could help Iran develop intercontinental ballistic missiles. This is another move in the fight between U.S and Iran over the regime’s missile programs.
- Islamic Republic’s first military satellite into orbit, dramatically unveiling what experts described as a secret space programme with a surprise launch that came amid wider tensions with the United States.
- Already, Iran has abandoned all the limitation of its tattered nuclear deal with world powers that President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from in 2018.
- The satellite successfully reached an orbit of 425 kilometers (264 miles) above the Earth’s surface.
- According to the paramilitary force, it used a ‘Ghased’ or “Messenger”, satellite carrier to put the device into space, a previously unheard-of system. It described the system as using both liquid and solid fuel.
ALSO READ | INDO-US MISSILE DEAL
How is it a matter of worry?
- As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic and historically low oil prices, the missile launch may signal a new willingness to take risks by Iran.
- The US alleges such satellite launches defy a UN Security Council resolution calling on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
- American officials, as well as European nations, worry that these launches could help Iran develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
- While Iran isn’t known to have the know-how to miniaturise a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile, any advances toward an intercontinental ballistic missile would put Europe and potentially the US in range.
READ MORE |PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS
Fact file for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a guided ballistic missile with a minimum range of 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi) primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery (delivering one or more thermonuclear warheads).
- Russia, the United States, China, India, Iran and North Korea are the only countries that have operational ICBMs.
- An anti-ballistic missile is a missile which can be deployed to counter an incoming nuclear or non-nuclear ICBM.
- ICBMs can be intercepted in three regions of their trajectory: boost phase, mid-course phase or terminal phase.