The history of truly indigenous ballistic missile development programs shows that every new phase of development requires tremendous intellectual and material efforts and many years to achieve results. The development and production of modern ballistic missiles requires an advanced R&D and industrial infrastructure, which in turn depends directly on the general level of a country's scientific, technological, and industrial resources. More specifically, it requires: access to the world market for high-tech equipment, materials, and components; a general, diverse, and specialized system of educational, research, and training institutions; a highly developed R&D and industrial base; and a suffi ciently large force of highly qualified and skilled scientists, engineers, and industrial workers.
The leading missile countries have hundreds of research organizations and industrial enterprises cooperating in the development and manufacture of ballistic missiles. In Russia, for example, hundreds of entities participate in production of the "Topol" ICBM. The total number of employees in the Chinese missile and space industry exceeds 200,000, even though China has rather modest achievements in missile technologies compared with the United States and Russia. Iran does not have such an infrastructure; neither do North Korea or Pakistan.
The major scientific, technological and production problems that have to be solved in building an IRBM or an ICBM are as follows:
- a. The development of powerful rocket motors;
- b. Flight control, guidance systems, and telemetry;
- c. Reentry vehicle heat protection;
- d. Construction materials;
- e. Flight testing.
Each of these areas would pose major scientific, technological, and production problems for Iran.