Karrar (Striker) - Iran, 2010
Detailing the development and operational history of the Karrar (Striker) Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV).
Entry last updated on 5/22/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Karrar UCAV is the latest in a growing line of indigenous Iranian drone offerings.
The Islamic Republic of Iran developed the rudimentary "Karrar" ("Striker") as an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV), becoming the first long-endurance, combat-capable Iranian drone of note. Externally, the vehicle resembles a World War 2-era German V-1 terror rocket and makes use of a basic aerodynamic shape which is stabilized by straight wing appendages. The Karrar achieved its first flight sometime in 2009 and was debuted on August 23rd, 2010 during a ceremony with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad present, no doubt as a propaganda initiative coming a day following the Bushehr nuclear reactor activation.
While specifications of the true Karrar vehicle are elusive, it is recognized that the system makes use of a single Toloue series 4 or 5 turbojet engine. State media reports an operational range of 620 miles (depending on weapons fit) with a maximum speed granted by its turbojet installation of 560 miles per hour. The Karrar sports a running length of 13 feet. The main wings are set aft of midships while the tail is capped by a "T" style assembly. Lacking any retractable or fixed undercarriage, the Karrar is launched via rocket-assist (presumably with a catapult launching rail) and is recovered by way of a parachute-retarded freefall.
As an armed drone, the Karrar can be outfitted with conventional drop bombs or guided/homing bombs/missiles including precision ordnance. Munitions are mounted across five total hardpoints - two underwing and one underfuselage. That said, the Karrar can be outfitted with 500lb precision-guided bombs, 2 x 500lb or 1 x 1,000lb conventional drop bombs, 4 x Kowsar anti-ship missiles or 1 x Nasr-1 anti-ship missile. This would seemingly allow Iran to govern its shores at the Persian Gulf and neutralize any perceived maritime threat. Additionally, the Karrar would have enough endurance to reach some areas of neighboring Iraq.
With state secrecy assured, the true combat-level qualities of the Karrar can only be estimated. It is generally perceived as a modest indigenous UCAV attempt when compared to the technologically-laden offerings in the West despite the inherent quality of ordnance delivery. Its accuracy in such delivery remains a mystery.