December 27, 2005

Thunder Over Iran

David Bernstein notes over at The Volokh Conspiracy that there is distinct possibility that Israel will strike Iran within the next few months in an effort to disrupt or destroy Iran's nuclear ambitions. As Bernstein himself notes, "this is hardly an original insight."

The Iranians certainly know this, which is why they've entered into a deal to buy 29 TOR-M1 mobile air defense missile systems (another source strongly suggests that the actual number is actually 32 TOR-M1 systems, or the equivalent of two regiments).

Despite the deployment of these new systems however, Israel will not only probably engage Iranian nuclear facilities if negotiations with the international community falter, they will likely succeed.

Despite the commentary of some "experts," to the contrary, the Israeli Air Force has significant deep strike capability. According to Global Security, the IAF currently has 25 advanced multi-role F-15I "Ra'am" (Thunder) strike fighters, a custom built Israeli variant of the American F-15E Strike Eagle that can carry the 5,000 pound GBU-28 "Bunker Buster" capable of penetrating 20 feet of concrete or more than 100 feet of earth. Congress was alerted to the possible sale of 100 GBU-28s and supporting equipment in in April of 2005, and did not object, making it reasonable to conclude that the IAF probably has both the strike aircraft and the weaponry to take out the most heavily-fortified of Iranian facilities.

IAF F-16I "Soufa" (Storm)

In addition to the deep strike/deep penetration capability of GBU-28-armed F-15Is, the IAF also has "nearly 50" of the highly advanced F16I "Soufa" (Storm) two-seat, long-range interdictors most recognizable for two conformal fuel tanks mounted on the upper fuselage as seen in the image above. These F-16Is are equipped with long-range AMRAAM and short range Python 5 imaging infrared-guided high agility dogfighting missiles in an air-to-air role, or a mix of HARM anti-radiation missiles, Maverick air-to ground missiles, and a large variety of unguided and guided bombs

If Israel opts for a aerial assault, these roughly 75 planes should be more than a match for any air defenses Iran can project. Iranian airpower has suffered significantly since the shah's regime in the 1970s, and land-based radar and SAM capabilities are probably insufficient to the task of defending against modern strike packages.

If Israel opts for an early March strike as some sources suggest, we will know both Israel's and Iran's capabilities in very short order.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 27, 2005 11:45 PM | TrackBack

with any probable attack against iran,iranian people would not trust in america anymore as tkey had before,besides,iranian military power is so rich that nobody can i have intrviewed with some senior militarymen in iran they are completely ready to defend from themselves and create a storm that not only israel but also america would receive intense is utterly wrong to form any attack against them.

Posted by: gary at December 28, 2005 02:59 AM

Unfortunately this could be the spark in the powder room.

Posted by: Retired Navy at December 28, 2005 06:27 AM

So, are we supposed to wait until Iran launches a volley of nuclear warheaded missiles at Israel in their endeavor to wipe Israel off the map?

Posted by: Old Soldier at December 28, 2005 07:13 AM

While everyone has their eye on Israel, it'd be a very good idea to keep an eye on the Turks, the Fraud's and the Emirate states.

Just to mention a few other that are a tab bit nervous of the Mullah's, their proclamations and ambitions.

Posted by: Eg at December 28, 2005 10:23 AM

Interesting. Eg, are you suggesting that other Arab states might have a hand in striking Iranian facilities? If you would, please expound upon this theory.

Posted by: Confederae Yankee at December 28, 2005 10:33 AM

Here's a theory.

The Middle East has been a hotbed for centuries. There are many different tribes/factions/variations of religions/social classes etc... all under a blazing sun. They (as in the different tribes) have been josteling for power since Noah was a seamen recruit. Even in the more stable countries there is friction between the haves and have nots. A little fuel to the fire (lets just say, oh, Iran since they aren't particularly liked over there by most others) starts playing with some big matches (nuclear matches even). Well, some other kids in the neighborhood may not like it because they are all in striking range and may decide to take the matches away, by force if necessary. This could be potentially disasterous (I really hope I'm wrong). I also hope we got the beginnings of democracy in there in time, and that summits and talks will work in this case.

Posted by: Retired Navy at December 28, 2005 12:19 PM

The only good scenario (in which Iran quits its nuclear ambitions) is also the least likely. As much as it disturbs me, someone needs to destroy Iran's nuclear capacity before it is ready for use. There is no good ending here because the Iranian president is determined to send the world into a firestorm. It would be better if Islamic nations do it, but if Israel has to they have done it before and are not afraid to defend their interests.

Posted by: Shoprat at December 28, 2005 01:31 PM

I agree Shoprat, I just know it's a big powder keg over there and hope to never hear the BOOM!!

Time will tell I guess. Smarter men then me are trying to stop it.

Posted by: Retired Navy at December 28, 2005 01:55 PM

Israel is in the fight for its existance, it percieves Iran as a threat. All throughout history Jew's, Hebrew's, Israelites (hope thats spelled correctly?)have fought for their very existance. That has a tendancy to create an atmophere of distrust. Iran and their newly elected Terrrorist.... oops I mean President. Has publicly made threats to the Nation of Israel. They take that very seriously. Israel has no qualms about bombing the hell out of Iran and trust me they have the weapons to do it. If you know your history Israel fight's to win not to break even. They will attack Iran's nuclear making capabilities and wait for a response. If Iran launches an airstrike or ground troops leave the borders of Iran, Israel will annihilate them. Israelies do not mess around. Over the years Israel has TOLERATED the Palistinian's because we have asked, cohersed, arm twisted them to. This we cannot control. They see this as a military threat. They vehemently reserve the right to defend themselves at all cost's. And they will!!!!

Posted by: Faithful Patriot at December 29, 2005 09:35 AM

israel will winn iran. iran will go down. its in the bible in izikiel 38. its amaizing. i say enemies of israel must die!

Posted by: vussi shaballala at January 15, 2006 08:14 PM