Encyclopedia Astronautica
Al Hussein



walhusse.jpg
Al Hussein
Credit: US Congress
Iraqi modification of the R-17 that doubled the missile's range at the expense of more than halving the payload and accuracy.

In the Iran-Iraq War, the Iraqis needed a missile with the range to bombard Tehran in reply to Iranian attacks on Baghdad. The Al-Hussein was an Iraqi modification of Soviet-supplied R-17 Scud B tactical missiles. The oxidizer tank was lengthened by 0.85 m, and the fuel tank by 0.45 m. The warhead was reduced from 1000 kg to 500 kg (some sources say 250 kg). These changes increased the range from 280 to 600 km (some sources say 650 kg), although the accuracy decreased correspondingly, from 1.0 km CEP to 3.3 km. The modifications weakened the structure of the missile, causing it to disintegrate during re-entry. This later actually proved to be an advantage, since the fragments served as decoys - the American Patriot missile system could not differentiate the warhead from the missile fragments.

The missile was used against Tehran during the War of the Cities, and later against coalition forces in Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Gulf War. Of the 93 total missiles launched in 1991, 88 were Al-Husseins - 42 against Israel and 46 against Saudi Arabia, resulting in 28 deaths.

One variant of the Al Hussein, the Al Hijara (the stones) used a concrete warhead. At least one was fired against the Israeli nuclear complex at Dimona. VX nerve gas warheads were developed for the missile but never used.

Standard warhead: 250 kg (550 lb). Maximum range: 650 km (400 mi). Boost Propulsion: Storable liquid rocket. Initial Operational Capability: 1988.

Status: Retired 1991.
Gross mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb).
Payload: 250 kg (550 lb).
Height: 12.20 m (40.00 ft).
Diameter: 0.85 m (2.80 ft).
Span: 1.80 m (5.90 ft).
Thrust: 90.00 kN (20,232 lbf).
Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).
First Launch: 1987.08.03.
Last Launch: 1991.02.25.
Number: 75 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • A4 The V-2, known as the A4 to its developers, was the basis for most of the rocketry that exists in the world today. It was ineffective as a weapon of war, but represented a quantum leap in technology. The A1, A2, A3, and A5 were steps in the development of the missile. Later versions - the A6 through A12 - were planned to take the Third Reich to the planets. More...
  • R-17 The final refinement of the R-11 design, the R-17, was exported widely and became infamous around the world by its ASCC reporting name - "Scud". It was perhaps the most famous ballistic missile of the post-war period due to its use in the Iran-Iraq 'War of the Cities' and the Gulf War. This was the definitive production version of what was essentially a storable-propellant rocket with the performance of the V-2. More...
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Scud Batteries Mobile Iraqi Scud batteries were known to have been used for 59 wartime launches from 1990 to 1991, reaching up to 100 kilometers altitude, en route to targets in Israel and Saudi Arabia. More...

Associated Stages
  • R-17 Nitric acid/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 5,385/1,645 kg. Thrust 93.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 251 seconds. Developed from Russian storable fuel tactical missile. Original R-11 designed by Korolev OKB, subsequent developments by Makeyev OKB. Using calculations of Gerald Bull, stretched and clustered as basis of Iraqi ICBM/satellite launch vehicle. More...

Al Hussein Chronology


1987 August 3 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Range test, 615 km - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1987 December 28 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Combat valid. test - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1988 February 29 - . Launch Site: Al Amarah. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • vs Tehran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1988 February 29 - . Launch Site: Al Amarah. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • vs Tehran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1988 February 29 - . Launch Site: Al Amarah. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • vs Tehran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1988 March 1 - . Launch Site: Al Amarah. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • vs Tehran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1988 March 1 - . Launch Site: Al Amarah. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein. LV Configuration: Al Hussein [total up to 9/2d].
  • vs Tehran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1988 March 1 - . Launch Site: Al Amarah. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • vs Tehran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1989 July 27 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Launch trailer test - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 January 2 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Test flight - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 January 2 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein. LV Configuration: R-17 Short Al Hussein.
  • Test flight - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 January 2 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Test flight - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 January 2 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein. LV Configuration: R-17 Short Al Hussein.
  • Test flight - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 April 8 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Chemical warhead - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 April 8 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein. LV Configuration: R-17 Short Al Hussein.
  • Test flight - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 June 27 - . Launch Site: Tall Afar. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein. LV Configuration: Al Hussein H4-1.
  • Separating RV test - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 August 15 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Weapon test - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 December 1 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-A. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Weapon/test - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 December 1 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-A. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Weapon/test - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 December 1 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-A. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Weapon/test - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 17 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 19 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 19 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 19 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 20 - . 18:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 20 - . 18:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 21 - . 08:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 21 - . 08:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 21 - . 09:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 21 - . 09:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 21 - . 09:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 21 - . 09:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 21 - . 19:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Combat launch - target: Al Jubail - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 22 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 22 - . 00:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 22 - . 00:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 22 - . 00:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 22 - . 04:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 22 - . 04:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 22 - . 04:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 23 - . 19:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 23 - . 19:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 23 - . 19:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 23 - . 19:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 23 - . 19:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 25 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 25 - . 19:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 25 - . 19:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 26 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 26 - . 00:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 26 - . 19:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 January 28 - . 17:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 1 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 1 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 1 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 2 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 2 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 2 - . 21:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 7 - . 22:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 11 - . 19:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 14 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Hafir Al Batin - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 14 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Hafir Al Batin - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 15 - . 23:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Combat launch - target: Al Jubail - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 21 - . 14:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Combat launch - target: King Khalid Military City - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 21 - . 14:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Combat launch - target: King Khalid Military City - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 21 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Combat launch - target: King Khalid Military City - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 21 - . 23:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Bahrain - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 23 - . 01:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 23 - . 01:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 24 - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-W. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Israel - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 24 - . 01:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 24 - . 06:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Riyadh - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 24 - . 09:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Combat launch - target: King Khalid Military City - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 25 - . 17:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Dhahran - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1991 February 25 - . 22:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Scud Batteries. Launch Pad: IRAQ-S. LV Family: R-17. Launch Vehicle: Al Hussein.
  • Qatar - . Nation: Iraq. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

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