|Place of origin||Iran|
|Wars||2006 Lebanon War|
|Manufacturer||Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group|
|Produced||November 6, 1996|
15,000 kg (System)|
45 kg (HE Content)
90 kg (Warhead)
407 kg (Rocket)
10.45 m (Launcher) |
5,200 mm (Rocket)
|Width||2.54 m (Launcher)|
|Height||3.34 m (Launcher)|
|Elevation||0 to 57 degrees|
|Traverse||90 degrees left/100 degrees right|
|Rate of fire||
12 rounds in 48 seconds (est)
|Maximum firing range||43 km|
|Engine||280 hp, V-8 liquid-cooled, diesel engine|
60 km/h (road)|
25 km/h (off-road)
The Fajr-3 (rarely Fadjr-3) (Persian: فجر-۳) is an Iranian heavy 240 mm intermediate-range multiple-launch artillery rocket (MLRS). The Fajr-3 is a license-built copy, with slight modifications, of a North Korean MLRS called the M-1985. The Fajr-3 was introduced in 1996 and has since been exported to Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah.
The Fajr-3 launcher fires twelve 5.2 meter long, 240 millimeter-calibre Fajr-3 artillery rockets, with an estimated range of 43 kilometres, weighing 407 kilograms each and carrying 45-kilogram HE warheads. Fajr means 'dawn' in Arabic.
During the Iran-Iraq war, around a dozen North Korean M-1985 MLRS systems were exported to Iran. The North Korean M-1985 was derived from Soviet Katyushas, and so the Fajr-3 is sometimes considered a Katyusha too. With North Korean assistance, Iran's state-run Shahid Bagheri Industries started to domestically develop the system in March 1990 under license. Analysts in Abu Dhabi learned about the development less than a month later and described it as "one of the most important new weapons" under development in Iran. The development program for the Fajr-3 might have been run in conjunction with the development of the Oghab.
The first Fajr-3s were produced on November 6, 1996, and the system entered service that year. Early versions of the Fajr-3 apparently had reduced range and it was not until December 1998 that Iran tested a rocket with the full 43 km range. Fajr-3 rockets are known to have still been in production in 2006.
The Fajr-3 launcher has twelve tubes in two groups of six. The system was first installed on a Mercedes-Benz 2624 series chassis, has since been seen with Japanese Isuzu chassis, and is currently used on Mercedes-Benz 2631 chassis. Apart from the chassis differences, which are trivial, there are no Fajr-3 variants. The launcher is unarmored, weighs 15 metric tons, and has no fire-control system. The rocket is solid fueled and has a fragmentation high explosive warhead. A complete Fajr-3 system is manned by a crew of five and also includes one dedicated resupply vehicle with a crane. A reload is estimated to take 12-15 minutes.
2006 Lebanon War
Fajr-3 MRLS were supplied to Hezbollah in Lebanon in the early 2000s (possibly 2002) and used in small numbers in the 2006 Lebanon War. The Israeli Air Force identified the Fajr-3, along with other long- and medium-range artillery rockets, as their main target in the war, and attempted to destroy them in a large attack in the beginning of the war. Similarly, Hezbollah viewed their Fajr-3 systems and similar rockets as their "centerpiece for operational planning" in the lead-up to the war.
At least some of Hezbollah's Fajr-3 rockets survived Israel's initial wave of airstrikes, and "tens" were fired sporadically at Israel over the course of the war, mainly targeting the Israeli city of Haifa. The rocket's long range meant that they were mostly deployed from north of the Litani River. Hezbollah's Fajr-3 MLRS were mobile and were reportedly controlled from a Hezbollah headquarters in Tyre.
A Fajr-3 rocket was fired by unidentified Iraqi insurgents in Baghdad on September 11, 2007, where it injured an American soldier.
- Iran – approximately 10 launchers
- Hezbollah – a few dozen launchers
- Hamas – up to fifty rockets
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In the late 1980s, the North Korean-produced 240 mm M-1985 multiple rocket launcher (MRL) was exported to Iran and subsequently produced under license (with minor changes) by Shahid Bagheri Industries as the Fajr-3 (a.k.a., Fadjr-3).
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- Anthony H. Cordesman, Iran’s Rocket and Missile Forces and Strategic Options. October 7 2014. p. 60.