GarryB wrote:I am pretty sure they don't licence produce TOW now, but Iran does licence produce a range of weapons systems including ATGMs.
I rather suspect this is an example of a licence produced missile.
Does anyone speak Persian and is able to translate the video for us?
When the Shah was in power in the 1970s and Iran was the best thing since sliced bread, it was Iranian money that bought a surprising number of western defence products.
In fact what we know now as the Challenger series of tanks, which are world class vehicles, was basically paid for by Iran... imagine if they waited for them to be delivered before the overthrow of the CIA puppet?
I haven't checked but I would suspect the first TOW production plants in Iran was US built and paid for by Iranian oil.
They like to have their own military industries and they often base their products on foreign systems... twin tailed F-5s spring to mind, but I have quite a high regard for Iranian engineers... of course not being an engineer myself I also have a high regard for Chinese engineers too... even just copying is not easy and they often do more than just copy anyway.
A good example is my Type 56S rifle. Externally it is just an AKM copy, but they rebuilt the rear of the bolt carrier so that the hammer cannot hit the firing pin in the bolt till the bolt carrier is in the forward and locked position... it is a safety thing that prevents the hammer hitting the firing pin while the bolt is not in its forward locked position. In the Soviet AKM there are a few extra components that prevent the hammer being released till the bolt is closed and is referred to in the west as a rate of fire reducer... it is really just a hammer delay.
The Chinese solution reduces the number of parts they need to make, though it makes the bolt carrier slightly longer and heavier overall it is a design improvement.
The Chinese I believe have plenty of innovations of their own. It's just that their effort is mostly focused on reducing cost and manufacturing complexity, more than anything else. There is absolutely no reason to re-invent the wheel for them, or to stay ahead of the curve. For most hardware - they just wait until the US and Russia come up with something new, and then copy it and make a version in order to suit their own requirements. They save time and money. I mean why waste these resources for something they don't really urgently need; like the latest tanks, AT missiles, APCs, infantry kits, guided bombs, etc... The same goes for their nuclear force too; it's enough to ensure their security, and they see no neccessity in plunging vast sums in order to achieve even partial parity with the US and Russia in nuclear ballistic missile subs or strategic aviation.
They are slowly moving up to a more qualitative force; but basically where the quality is really needed (long range artillery, missile destroyers, fighters, etc...); they already have it in any case; either via purchases from Russia, or their own high-cost designs. Those sensitive technologies that they asked for Russia, but which were not sold to them, or which are priorities for them (anti-ship missiles, etc...); they are making quick advances in.