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The Military Technology

Iran Tests Naval Cruise Missile During War Games 547

Hugh Pickens writes "Iran says it has successfully test fired a cruise missile during naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz, and the surface-to-sea missile, known as the Qader, struck its targets with precision and destroyed them. Iran had previously announced that it intended to test a missile during the exercises, raising fears that it might try to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for tougher international sanctions. The Qader missile is said to be capable of striking warships at a range of about 125 miles, a distance that would include some American forces in the Gulf region as Iran is about 140 miles at its nearest point from Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based. Analysts say Iran's increasingly strident rhetoric, which has pushed oil prices higher, is aimed at sending a message to the West that it should think twice about the economic cost of putting further pressure on Tehran. 'No order has been given for the closure of the Strait of Hormuz,' Iran's state television quoted navy chief Habibollah Sayyari as saying. 'But we are prepared for various scenarios.'"
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Iran Tests Naval Cruise Missile During War Games

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  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @06:26AM (#38570458) Journal
    Read about small boats and aircraft did during US war games under Gen. Paul van Ripen.
    U Sank My Carrier! By Gary Brecher []
    "send everything at once"
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @07:00AM (#38570628)

    Blockades are defined by international law as an act of war. The moment you try to enforce this blockade, you'll have effectively declared war on every Persian Gulf state and anyone trading with them.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @07:08AM (#38570670) Journal
    The 2'nd half was scripted. IOW, they told the reds what to do. Van Ripen retired rather than be party to such a joke. And when the approach and outcome are scripted, it is no longer a challenge. Then it is just a media ploy.
  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @07:43AM (#38570830) Homepage Journal

    Hanging off of your post a little bit, there's been some rumblings in the news about the Chinese DF-21 [], which is basically a straight up, straight down mortar shell designed to sink aircraft carriers (and other local battleships) within an 1100 mile radius (that includes singapore, japan, and both koreas). Sort of the same functionality as an ICBM, but with more conventional explosives attached. The big problem is that they come down at mach 2 or faster, making them difficult to detect, let alone intercept.
    Forbes alluded to this saying "its surface vessels are increasingly vulnerable to Chinese attack []"
    While I doubt we'd unwrap the ICBMs, there's no reason to think this non-nuclear-ized technology exists. We've already retired battleships from the navy, it's not too far-fetched to imagine that Carriers are on their way out too.
    More reading: [] []

  • by Marcika ( 1003625 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @08:15AM (#38570956)
    Read the 'pedia page [] and its sources about the Millennium Challenge 2002 and LtGen. Van Riper.
  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @08:18AM (#38570972) Journal

    The real reason is right there in the summary:

    Analysts say Iran's increasingly strident rhetoric, which has pushed oil prices higher, is aimed at sending a message to the West that it

    wants more money for its oil...

    All other goals are secondary.

  • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @08:22AM (#38570986)
    That's not at all what happened. JFCOM wanted to show how its new tool, Operational Net Assessment (ONA), was awesome. They lost, badly. So they reran the exercise is such a way that they won, then congratulated themselves. Publicly. The exercise was touted as a success, despite the embarrassing defeat. And the tactics that van Ripen used, such as small boats swarming our ships, were ignored.
  • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @08:50AM (#38571080)
    The stories of nukes in Iraq were lies at best, and a huge failure of US intelligence at worst.

    Presented to U.S. officials by the Iraqi National Congress, a London-based exile group pushing for an American attack on Iraq, the defector says Saddam is close to finishing a long-range ballistic missile that could hit Cairo; Ankara; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Nicosia, Cyprus, or Tehran. []

    That was what we were told in 2002. A decade on, we now know that those "intelligence" reports of WMDs from the INC were actually supplied by a double agent working for Iranian intelligence.

    According to a US intelligence official, the CIA has hard evidence that Mr Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions. []

    Oops. And what about those mobile bioweapon labs? It turned out that intelligence came from another unreliable source:

    Despite warnings from the German Federal Intelligence Service questioning the authenticity of the claims, the US Government utilized them to build a rationale for military action in the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, including in the 2003 State of the Union address, where President Bush said "we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs", and Colin Powell's presentation to the UN Security Council, which contained a computer generated image of a mobile biological weapons laboratory.[1][4] On November 4, 2007, 60 Minutes revealed Curveball's real identity.[5] Former CIA official Tyler Drumheller summed up Curveball as "a guy trying to get his green card essentially, in Germany, and playing the system for what it was worth." []

    The whole story was made up by one guy who wanted his immigration card, and yet - without any verification - it was used by the Bush administration to justify a war.

    And since you brought it up, alll of the intelligence that linked Iraq to 911 was lies as well.... There was no Iraq Islamist link (well, at least until the coalition invaded and plunged the country into a bloody sectarian civil war)

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @10:07AM (#38571406)

    Interesting article that seems to be plausible in its main thrust. But Gary Brecher can't resist bloviating about WW2 parallels, and in the process he reveals a pretty impressive degree of ignorance about the naval history of that era.

    "The little biplanes buzzed out...and sank every ship. First a destroyer, then the huge German battleship, then all three US battleships. The Navy tried to ignore the results, but with Mitchell yapping at their heels, they finally started moving from battleship-based to aircraft-carrier-based battle groups".

    1. Actually, the "little biplanes" that sank the German battleship Ostfriesland dropped 1-ton (2000 lb) bombs. Some of the worst damage was done by bombs that were deliberately dropped as near-misses, using massive water pressure pulses to rupture the vulnerable underwater part of the hull. Of course, Ostfriesland was unmanned and did not defend itself - there were none of the repair parties that would normally fight any breaches in the hull, and the aircraft could come as close as they liked. Amusingly, Mitchell himself told Congress that, "In my opinion, the Navy actually tried to prevent our sinking the Ostfriesland."

    2. The British Royal Navy began using ship-launched aircraft in earnest during WW1 (1914-18). The Japanese also began experimenting with aircraft carriers at least as early as the USA. The reason why the USA built so many (and such big) carriers in the1930s and 1940s was mainly that it could - it had the huge wealth necessary to build over 100 carriers during WW2 alone, while other nations like Japan built hardly any. Also, aircraft carriers were very suitable for the Pacific war, with its vast expanses of open ocean and usually good flying weather.

    "The British didn't pay any attention to Mitchell's demonstration. Their battleships were better made, better armed, and better manned".

    This, too, is unfair. The British knew very well that their battleships were no better (to say the least) than those of the USA and Germany. Because Britain ended WW1 almost bankrupt, and owing huge amounts to the USA, its defence budgets were run on a shoestring right up to (and through) WW2. HMS Rodney and HMS Nelson, for example, were smaller and slower than battleships built between the wars by the USA, Germany, Italy, Japan, and France. The British knew very well that aircraft would be very dangerous to warships, but they couldn't stop building battleships because there was still a need for them.

    "Why didn't the British think of it in 1940? There was plenty of evidence that battleships were nothing but giant coffins. They just decided not to think about it".

    This is where Brecher gets altogether carried away and parts company with reality. Battleships were still necessary, in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theatres if less so in the Pacific. Although the German battleship Bismarck was crippled by a (very lucky) aerial torpedo hit, it took two British battleships to pound her into scrap before she was sent to the bottom by torpedoes. At the battle of Matapan, three British battleships sank three powerful Italian cruisers in a matter of minutes, changing the whole balance of the war in the Mediterranean. And the complex air, sea and land struggle for Guadalcanal was arguably settled when the battleship USS Washington smashed the less powerful Japanese battleship Kirishima, helping to give the USN supremacy in the waters around the strategic island. Certainly battleships were increasingly endangered, but until 1945 they still had important roles to play. The same is true about US carriers today. The fact that they may easily be sunk if they venture into a landlocked body of water like the Persian Gulf does not mean they are not enormously useful.

    "In the Falklands War, the Argentine Air Force, which ain't exactly the A Team, managed to shred the British fleet, coming in low and fast to launch the Exocets".

    In fact the Argentine Exocets sank exactly one British warship, HMS Sheffield. They also damaged three other ships (and admitte

  • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @10:22AM (#38571528) dumb Eurotrash liberal droolers would get pissed, go ahead, have another sit in protest in a park ya whanker.

    Does this add anything to your argument? I agree with what you said before, but that bit left me with the impression that you are unstable with an uninformed view of people who disagree with you.

  • by rgbatduke ( 1231380 ) <rgb@ph y . d u k> on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @11:00AM (#38571840) Homepage
    With respect, I think that this will prove almost untrue. In a war like this there would be no particular hurry. Consider:
    • * As always, the war will be fought initially not at sea, but in the air. Since World War II, naval warfare has been air warfare first and foremost. That is even more true today. We could take out Iran's entire navy without using any actual ships, if we are patient, and with stealth aircraft, radar-sniffing missiles, and ECM protecting our planes, we will.
    • * We will know exactly where all of their naval surface assets are as the war begins. We have satellites, they don't. Boats can't hide. Their submarines, not their corvettes and frigates, are the "problem", but they don't have that many of them.
    • * I personally doubt that they can hide their submarines. I would guess that at this point the entire gulf and strait is one big acoustic array. We also have a moderate list of exotic new technologies for submarine detection, featuring blue/green lasers and massive computing, that can detect e.g. a submarine's underwater wake. Once detected, killing them is routine. They have exactly three submarines that could be a "problem" (Russian built Kilo submarines, quiet and fairly modern). I would bet that they are being actively tracked by the navy as I type this and that they will all three be gone within hours if not minutes of the initiation of any hostilities. That might be time for them to get an attack off, if they are in a position to do so, hence my bet-hedging.
    • * The question then is: how successful is such an attack likely to be? Iran does have "modern" missiles in their arsenal. OTOH, I rather suspect that all of our military assets at risk in the area have considerable defenses against modern missiles, in particular e.g. cruise missiles of all flavors. I could see one, or even two attacks succeeding, and possibly even sinking the targeted ship. Our own smaller attack (e.g. patrol) vessels will be at the greatest risk -- if anything gets up close and personal with Iran's navy, it will be these guys as they go after the "leftovers" of Iran's submarine fleet (their various minisubs, which will be the most difficult things to discover, track, and eliminate).
    • * Again, this is a war of technologies -- we have price-is-no-object ultramodern stuff; most of Iran's navy is 50+ years old (post-WWII vintage) and cannot possibly be as well protected or as well armed as ours is, assuming that it can actually get within range of our navy before our air power takes it out. Most of that navy will be eliminated before it can get off a shot, especially if we do the smart thing and actively retreat, pulling most of our naval assets back to where they can hit Iran but Iran cannot hit back and waiting for our air force to strategically eliminate Iran's air force (no longer than it took to eliminate Saddam's, a matter of a few days tops), most of its tactically deployed SAM sites (if it turns its radar on, it's dead; if it doesn't, it's useless and eventually dead anyway as satellites and surveillance aircraft and ground forces flag them for missions).

    So, if we are patient, the rate limiting feature of the war will be the speed with which we can deliver advanced munitions to the battlefield as we use them, highly efficiently, to eliminate Iran's assets one by one and defeat them in detail with minimal risk. There is little chance that we will win completely untouched, but if Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Iraq are any measure -- and I think that they are -- it will be yet another case of our absolutely overwhelming military technology systematically and ruthlessly destroying a large but ill-equipped armed force. In the air we will be -- briefly -- challenged by our own F14 tomcat, plus a mish-mosh of soviet jets left over from the cold war.

    The "left over" bit will be the main point of interest. The technology represented in their air force is somewhat aged. They have around 108 air superiority jets, all d

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @11:59AM (#38572692)

    In fact the Argentine Exocets sank exactly one British warship, HMS Sheffield. They also damaged three other ships (and admittedly scared the hell out of everyone).

    By far the most significant use of an Exocet was when they hit the Atlantic Conveyor, which was being used as a temporary aircraft carrier (since Harriers and helicopters can happily operate from a container ship). If I remember correctly, the British lost most of their troop-carrying helicopters in that attack.

    The main reasons why they didn't achieve more than that was because they didn't have many missiles and the British fleet stayed on the edge of the area that the Argentinian aircraft could reach, which meant their Harriers couldn't operate over the Falklands for long before having to return to refuel. So while the Exocets didn't sink many warships, they certainly had a significant impact on the war.

  • by SplashMyBandit ( 1543257 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @02:16PM (#38574564)
    True. Plus, one of the reasons we regular folk get these leaked 'shock' results is that the US Navy probably also wanted to scare more money of out the US Congress (since they've been sidelined by Iraq and Afghanistan, but still need to fight pirates and contain China [increasingly assertive in the disputed waters of the South China Sea]). Same deal when the shock report came out of six F-22s shooting down twenty Su-27 (of 72 facing them) but considered a loss since their tanker was lost - leaked to scare more Raptor funding out of Congress.

A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two. -- Seneca