Silo Mentality—Iran’s Haji Abad Missile Base

May 4, 2021

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile


Joseph Dempsey

Author's Title: 

Research Associate for Defence and Military Analysis


International Institute for Strategic Studies

Iran may have developed a new design of hardened launch site, possibly the first intended specifically for solid-fuel ballistic missiles. Open-source satellite imagery of the suspected Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ missile base near Haji Abad reveals this development. Although Tehran has in recent years showcased several underground complexes (sometimes dubbed ‘missile cities’) – complete with cavernous launch silos – they have not included the Haji Abad structures. While Iran’s ballistic-missile designs are road mobile, Tehran also deploys some in hardened static launch sites.

Between 2017 and 2019, an underground facility near Haji Abad (28°19'44.02"N 55°56'34.20"E) was modified with the construction of large hollow circular structures, presumed to be accessible via underground tunnels. Comprising two groups – four structures below ground level and three semi-recessed into the landscape – each feature interior spaces some 20 metres in diameter, the latter group with outer walls at least 5 m thick.


Read the rest of the blog post at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.