Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Iranian missiles technology

A military analyst who does not want to be identified sent me this: "The launch of the satellite suggests the extent of Iran technology capacity, which in turn feeds into its war fighting potential as well as its involvement in preventing Israel from establishing a hegemony in the Middle East which curtails its own legitimate national interests, as opposed to the illegitimate Israeli ones. Believe me Israel knows that Iran will never lob an atomic device onto Tel Aviv. There are so many reasons that would make an Iranian first strike simply out of the question. But if Iran is interested in nuclear weapons it would be for their deterrence capacity in the face of what Seymour Hirsh called 'Samson's Choice' when Israel resort to the use of its own nuclear weapons - and we know that Israel considered that and in the October 1973 and began arming their nuclear stockpiles.
Over the last 20 years mounting evidence, now further confirmed by the launch of the satellite, suggest that Iran established a ballistic missiles traditions around a community of scientists and engineers in the two major R&D centers. Not a simple achievement. Their approach has been the classic one: modify successful technoplogy (mostly Soviet) to meet their requirements and gain significant experiences from the process to enable one to meet higher and more sophisticated requirement. The launch was apparently conducted with solid fuel! This is a breakthrough, despite the fact that liquid fuel that power the engines in Shehab 1 - 6 have become safer to handle. While the Shehab series were Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBM) reaching 800-1200km, the claim in a previous test of a much longer range seems now validated, as may be seen in the length of the launch rocket in comparison with the earlier generations (extra length means extra fuel and longer There are reports of tests carried on multi-stage rockets in the North-East - but I discount all that, since I doubt the Iranians plan on attacking Sicily, although the Israelis would be ready to raise the alarm to the extent of recommending to the Iceland government building air-raid shelters! It is established that accuracy of the warhead even in the MRBM has increased substantially by introducing spin (as in a bullet from a rifle) that overcomes wind and other weather factors. This is quite significant, because the Scud missiles that Iraq lobbed onto Israel in the Gulf war lacked such precision, and rendered them only suitable for targeting populated areas - for 'shock and awe' purposes! But while there must be considerable guidance features in the avionics I do not have information about rocket and warhead self-guidance. This is probably one of the the problem the scientists are working on in the Shaheed Himmat Industrial Group - one of the two principal R&D sites. I doubt if Iran has real telemetry issues - that is communications with the rocket and the satellite. The initial sources are not clear whether Chinese or Russian - but then, they were not unhappy monitoring the existing Iranian satellites in orbit launched on a Russian rocket a couple of years ago!
The significance of these developments, and indeed, in the entire missile technology effort, now that confirmation of advances have been made, is increased deterrence preventing a foolish attack on Iran (at least an entire rocket Birgade is presumed to have been setup a year ago armed with some 90 Shehab 3 with 200 in reserve). This is very important for the US administration - even if it was headed by McCain.
It means too, that technology transfer to Iran's friends is a corrollary further reducing the tilt in the strategic balance in favor of Israel and consolidating the establishment of the new 'second front' for Israel - right within it! Already Iranian SRBM are deployed in Syria.
I believe that Iran's scientists would be working now on the guidance systems, as well as the high-explosive warheads. This would lead to the manufacture of high precision bombs, as well, which accords with the statement made by their Air Force chief a couple of days ago, about the Iranian Stealth bomber."