Directorate of Intelligence
The Iraqi Supergun (u)
A Research Paper
Project Babylon: The Iraqi Supergun (u)
The Iraqi Supergun (u)
Information atattablt aiaft1 -ai used in ihu ipon
raq was involved in an unusual weaponsprogram tl called Project Babylon This project included themanufacture, and construction of several large-caliberillimetcr-diamctcr supergun. In addition. Projectthe development of projectiles for these guns thatand rocket projectiles capable of being fired to greatthc orderilometers for the gun-launchedproject was coordinated for Iraq by the Space Researchwhich was also heavily involved in the development of the gunshesc guns were intended for the
bombardment of unspecified miliary and economic
Byraq had successfully built andm-diameter scaled version ofm supergun. Also, by this time, many components form supergun and twomwhose immense sue required out-of-countrybeen delivered to Iraq However, construction of the supergun and the twom guns had not begun. '"
he murder of Gerald Bull, the project leader, was the first linkhain of events that drastically slowed the progress of Projectand ultimately led to its termination. Worldwide disclosure in0 of the project occurred when UK Customs seized the last eight sections that were to make upm gun barrel. Otherincluding several critical components tike gun-barrel sections and breeches, were subsequently seized by various countries. Without these critical components, the supergun could not have been completed by Iraq We are unable to find any evidence lhat Iraq obtained oui-of-country aid for ihe project after its disclosure.
Inn the aftermath of the Persian Gulf war. Iraq acknowledgedong-range gunespite iu initial denials thai there wasrogram. The Iraqis also admitted to the existence ofm diameter test gun and lo its location, and they provided information on status of the components thai were to make upm supergun and twom guns. Examination ofm test-gun site, the supergun components, and other gun componentsnited Nations inspection team revealed lhat Project Babylon has. in fact, beenInrocedures were implemented by the United Nations for the destruction of the Project Babylon components, includingm test gun. (u)
Alerald Bullloungest alliens tooctorate in aerodynamics /see figuree became known forun insteadind tunne! to conduct inexpensive hypervelociiy aerodynamicfor his impatience with he termed "amateur scientists"and "bureaucratict age he led the extremely ambitious joint US-Canadian High-Alttiude Research Protecteveloping state of ihe art for gun-launched projectiles and rockets, fvf
Soon after the end of the HARP programull founded ihr Space Research Corporation 'SRQ andest facility near Highwater. Quebec He purchased the HARP guns and equipment at scrap-value prices from the US and Canadianconsidering the idea of reviving hit dream of building large-caliber gunspecial act of the US Congressull was granted US citizenshipecurity clearance and was awarded up io S9 million in defense contracts. After the establishment of an SRC subsidiary in Belgium. Bull developed ihe GC-4Jto be one of the bell artillery guns in theadvanced projectilet with almost twice the range of guns in the US arsenal.aaaaai
Bull wot unsuccessful in convincing the US Arm} to purchase hisun and ammunition Therefore, he decided to sell ihe GC-dS lo lhe Soulh Africans with what he considered lo be approval from the US Office of Munitions Control Later, he was charged wiih violating the arms embargo to Soulh Africa and. after pleading guiltyas sentencedonths in prison. Upon release from prison, he vowed never to return to /forth America and moved his operations to Brussels. ftij
Bull continued to sell his GC-dJ gun. ammunition, and lechnology worldwide, he sold a;ystems to Iraq in theSaddam Husayn was extremely impressed with ihtte artillery guns. Further, itossible that Bullpersuaded Saddam Husayn to fund his dream the buildingOO-mtllimeter supergun that could launch payloads into space as well as deliver warheads to great distances.raq made Bull's SRC the managing authority for the supergun project, known as Project
rtcderauiy surdorder or ICC fcilcj-anM ttjj. jaCO-mm gun .
speriawaa. Tieucceeded in,he world ait-luessa-nrtd projectile, tne KAR? progra.-nrai-launcii
HAR? Program: Forerunner to the 5
rorsc: Babylon car.racedo ' titadejc- .Jift.
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The HARP program consisted of seven! guns, the Urgesiodified USmm) gun (seehis gun fired both subcatiber projectiles1 and single-stage, solid rockets Oneof thisknown as tbc Highwater gunof its location in Highwatcr,ofinch gun barrels bolted together. This gun wis limited to horironul firingslight rangem (seeest firings included prajec-tilc-sabot ttrncturil-proof tests and developmentof large, full-bore rocketsota! mass ofg. (u)
The state of tbc art for launching rockets from guns was reached during tbe HARP program Specifically, difficulties associated with rocket-component and rocket-motor survival at high-launch acceleratiom. experienced while the rocket travels down the gun barrel, were solved. These solutions included the development of hardened componentsovel approach for supporting center-burning rocketTbe program succeeded inm fiberglass-wrapped rocketorizontallygun (sec figureThese tests proved that rockets could be fired from guns and. according to analysis by HARP scientists.ltitudes ofm.on pay load and rocket exitBy the end of the HARP program, this development culminated in the constructioninch, two-stage solid rocket, known as Martlet. whichfired from the gun in Higbwatcr. Quebec, againorizontal posilion (see figure 5i- HARP scientists began toifferent version of ihis rocket, one with three stages, which they believed would be capable ofmall (site unspecified) pay load into Earth orbit. (U)
Tbe ultimate rocket projectile etmsioood during tbe HARP programuttistaged. full-bore rocket designatedseehis rocket was designed to carry pay loads of upg to lo*
Project Babylon: Attempt Touprrgun
Babylon loosely consisted of two phases and severa' subprograms. Some of ihese data refer to
cila hasi.iv.nc mailer ikan tbc ol ik* mauiim Ik* Malar tiaiPW projaciik:fte inn haml. SubcaliBct projaciilu arc aud pnnunly bataw ol ihnr lower mm at compared will) hill iuiMiit profKiilo. CmMaauaiili. wbcalibnaa ba iraa at haaaarihu aaaM at eaaabi*(aB-dUinnc. hcaxniudvmuic ol labcaiibevkii Uity lull unillcr oonvMuncs much smilUrl pay load(Ll
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design and conatmctioo of two Urge,and to Phase II as tbe acutamaller elevating and travers-nt(see figure '
hedevelopmeni or'a rocTets (GLRs) for bothmm guns. We differentiate between the various phases and subprograms as followijs^aRc)
m-durr.eierseehis gun wis toarrel lengtheters and was to have been emplacedixed positionounutnside atdcgree elevation. This gun would be able to fire on targets only along Its fixed gun-target line.
Nose cane Pttytoad
construction of l)
i.vw-mm supergun had ever occurred. (Sjtfa^bc)
Supportingcaled version ofOOO supergun known asm-diameter barrel (sec the section. "The Only Gun To rVe:- This smaller scaleLn was
successfullyorizontal position, using im sluis and subcaliber projectiles It was later moved to an inclined site for further testing to more accuraiely repKaje the emplacement of the larger supergune oo
AlsosupportiniasOO-mm-diameter test gun thai wasave been mounted horizontally for test firings This gun was to be the prototype whose dataave been combined with thai ofm test gun for useorporaiion into the finalized design of thcm super-
preliminary work on thc support structure form horizontal gun bad been done by0 Even though the fabrication ofm horuonial-gun parts had occurred, conduction of the gun itself Bad never beenr]
e believe that Phasc I! of Project Babylon involved twomm-diameter guns,T. capable of elevating and traversing ise= figurehese guns woulda more flexible system than the fixed supergun forthe capability to fire on targets at various azimuths SRC gunindicated, as revealed in documentary data, that the payload capacity of the subcahber projectiles would beog. Thebegan planning GLRs thai would providem guns with thc capability tog payloadange ofm Wc believe, therefore, that GLRs were intended as the primary projectile for these smaller guns Isa**^ /,
Separate fromr II were gunsmm caliber proposed by the SRC and at least considered by Iraqrr. gun was examined to address tbc issue of the small-payload capacity ofuns, particularly with their subcaliber projectiles. Thistnm gun. like tbeould beixed position and fire both GLRs and subcaliber projectiles. No construction orprocurement for this gun
Guns of Project Babylon
" IXBO-flun opera tioriaJ tupergun
Some components delivered
Noeooiirualono* IJXXJ-mm Operations) tuperguo
vn gun comirucicd and ten-tired
gun Initially ia horuxMiat position
Laitr dotHemolcd anda ud* of moutam
stale lAO-mm lev gun
-io be hotuonuOy mourned
Two JSO-mm operational gum rap.Ue o( elevating and traversing
" Some QJtnpoofnis seized
OtlWr guar oCO-mmgun
' Only on drawing board
, wo( ro
1nd two SSO-mm tlmaumggun, Of ihta SSO-mm mi
tun waill and fir.d.
levating and Traversing Gun
uatnui*wot ioour!I, would provr* mart flrxfbtUty I*
problems dunng thefm supergun were implied by SRC endorse-meni of another large-caliber gun. aa revealed in documentarylanm gun system wai in the proposal stage in0 (sec. This gun was to have provided the capability co launch larger pay loads thanO-mm guns,of its larger site, and was lo have provided more targeting flexibility than tbcm super-gun, because it could elevate and traverse. We believe
thatm gunlowcr-tech solution" as compared with the larger superguneen easier to develop
signed to fire subcaliber and (simpler) rocket-assisted projectiles (not GLRs) similar to those fired from conventional artillery guns.
rojectile types -oe considered for Project Babylon: nbcaliber projecnle* and GLRs. Tnesetypa. like most of Project Babylon, borro-ed heavily from the HARPariety of projec-tiles had been identified and were in various stages of development by0 (seefl
test slugs were constnicted for tbe proof testing of0 test-gun breecb aod barrel. These test slugs, though aerodynamically unstable, were intend-ed to duplicate the actual projectile's mass (see. The test slugs allowed the proper internal gun
Project Babylon Projectiles
determined fromm gun firings -ould be seed up for use inm supergun.
pressures to be achieved and provided interior baUu-lics calibration for the computer coda used in the design of all thc guns. In addition, these test slugs allowed SRC designers to determine the proper pro-pellani amount and configuration to achieve optimum performance fromm gun (ice appendix A. 'Interiorhe final propellant geometry.
Several lest projectiles, designated S3cre con-siructed and fired from theest gun. according to available SRC documents (seehese projectiles were to be fired down-unge for the first time during theIest program The primary purpose of these
test the overall configuration of theandans for extendingto0 supergun. Consequently. webelieve that these projectiles could have been
We assess thai no completed gun-launched rockets exist for any of the Proicct Babylon rum
advanced by0 (see. However, much work and testing were required before they could become operational. Even though tbc Project Babylon GLRs were based on the HARP's designs. SRC gun designers conceded that CLR complexity required extensive out-of-country assistance. iSJ0&C)
Guidance and Control
work- had been donerojectile guidance and control HiiCi system, mainly for the GLRs. throughocumentary data further reveal that this was an area where SCR designers were leant competent Apparently. SRC personnelystem experience and expertise were not working directly on Project Babylon.eneral studychemes,uperficial analysisechnique for the Project Babylon projectiles, was presented to Iraq by thc SRC Because so little work was done in thil area. Iraq was wiihholding funding from the SRC until progress wasfT
Test Slug Find From theest Cun
Helen iluftirdemiit foot ifituri of ikeS-ISOfWmmnmemtfm iketiumt mi -ell.
dan reveal thatrelatively simple GAC scheme wasround-based radartrack the projectile after Axing,round-based computer system would combine this tracking data with exit velocity and meteorological dan to determine what corrections were required to hit the desired target. Correction commands would be
transmitted to the projectileround-based con-troller. adjusting control surfaces (fins) located on the projectile body, to change iu course. This typeystem requires that all necessary maneuvering be accomplished while the projectile is in theimmediately aftereriod of abouteconds, according to SRC calculaitons^jpalcj
ubcaliber Projectile forest Gun
Proje-cuH) wftn uooi attache*!
Tht ixpenmttuel mbrellber.ht only known projetillt i0t* Aral by iht /net,
proittuitin taboi enmched.
Participation; Vital to tbe Projrct
Participation of companies outside Iraq was essential for Project Babylon. This participation supplementedountry manufacturing capability and helped to maintain the fast-paced schedule that had been esiabhsbcd for tbe project. The sheer size of the
supenun and its components required the supportanety of companies from all over tbe world,the United Kingdom. Switzerland. Spain. Italy and Belgium (seehese companiescomponents, including barrel sections, recoil mechanisms, propellant, elevating and traversing
"fir iwlauKhii"S-)iO ET tOOOly
and Hructurjl piece* No one companyall tbc componcnisun. and. apparently, tome companies were not even aware thai they were building components intendedun system.^gj
Most of tbe component! for all the Project Babylon guns were delivered to Iraq by early IWO. with tbe
exception of some critical components. In April, bow-ever, when UK Customs seized tbc last eight sections thai make upm gun barrel, publicprevented the delivery of any more items. Before then, tomem-barrel tubes hadbeen delivered to Iraq and had been identified
and traversing guns andm test gun thai was fired. Another UKppljcd flange seals for thc gun barrels of both siac guns.
at tbe industrial park at Iskandiaria (see. In addition, the barrels forT guns had also been delivered to Iskandiaria. The seized components *ere never delivered, and complete construction ofm supergunm elevating andyns could not have taken place without them.
Other components for thc Project Babylon gunsbypanish firmi.
involved in the construction of elevatingtems Hructuriliecesbuilt at lean one breech forInd. in additionBelgium,components for guns ol ariety of components, includingand yoke housing andreech forgun. Many of these components were1/A
ercd to Iraq by early
Tb* Only Cud To Fire:I50
Only one Project Babylon gun was compieicd and test-fired. The constructionm-diameter test gun was completed sometime near the endnd some firings of the gunorizontal position were conductedm gun testwould allow SRC designers to updateyear-old HARP program data base wtth information about guns built with modern materials and about newer construction techniques. We believe that these tests were probably not completed.
The companies primarily involved with tbcof the Supergun barrels were in the United
m-diameter tubes that wouldthe barrel forOO-mm horizontal testthe operational
commissioned to build thc barrets, as well as other componenti. for the twom elevating
Initially, this test gun was horizontally mounted onrailcars and possibly fired as many asest(secailcars were used because no recoil mechanism had yet been built. The firing of the gun caused thc railcars to move backward several meters. By March, this gun was dismantled aad reassembled at another test location in tbe Hamrin Mountainsdegree inclination (sji&aafffif
i,f mvhmi rhrn*
Grannie for tbc fir* rim-ad of0 <sceo.program wai prcoabiv never
completed. These tesis were designederethe largeruld oe
used. The gun *as mounted against :rs *ic*a
mountain and would An both >ubca::ccr I'd rocketas (hey became available Data from these tests *ere to be -ased to caloraie thealliggfes calculations made .'or the iubcaliber proiec;iies rind :rom the JiO-mmspecifically to determine ^he^rjer^he^^XDectsdranar wouid be achieve;
BEST COPY AVAILABLE
m Con Mounted
Support Arm "ir.
ill ll, mewmtd
attantmf at ike ten Mrtgmm miWWof alliMi, a- eomtrf of
Future for Projecl Babylon?
We assess (hat: he Iraqi supergun will not beespecially since UN inspection teams areihe gun barrels inoperable. Further.believe that Iraq will noi continue the development of any of thetm , f Project Babylon. Unlike
Bull'srtillery guns, the guns of Proicct Babylon were not "whole systems" lhal could be purchased by ibe Iraqis.
Wc believe that Iraqi expectations of the success and progress of Project Babylon were inflated, on the basis