Skip to comments.US, Germany differ on Israeli ability to hit Iran
Posted on 02/20/2012 8:26:12 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
US, Germany differ on Israeli ability to hit Iran
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
German military expert says Israel can set Iran nuke program back 10 years.
BERLIN Competing analysis articles appeared Monday in The New York Times and last week in the German daily Die Welt outlining vastly different conclusions about Israels military capability to knock out Irans nuclear weapons program.
While The New York Times report cast doubt on Israels success chances, Hans Rühle, who directed the planning department of the German Defense Ministry between 1982-1988, expressed confidence that Israels air force could decimate Irans principal nuclear installations.
The core differences surround the number of Israeli jets and bombs required to destroy Irans primary nuclear facilities, as well as the challenge of refueling fighter planes to travel a distance of more than 1,000 miles into Iranian airspace and return safely to Israel.
The Times titled its rather pessimistic analysis Iran Raid Seen as a Huge Task for Israeli Jets, and wrote that an Israeli mission to annihilate Irans nuclear infrastructure would require a minimum of 100 fighter jets.
According to a sample of US defense and military analysts, it would be a Herculean challenge for Israel to penetrate Irans air space and launch attacks on the countrys nuclear complexes.
The Times cited Michael V. Hayden, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009, who explicitly declared that pulverizing Irans nuclear facilities is beyond the capacity of Israel.
Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula told the Times that, All the pundits who talk about Oh, yeah, bomb Iran, it aint going to be that easy.
Deptula, served as the US Air Forces top intelligence official until last year, and oversaw the air military strikes conducted in the 2001 Afghanistan War theater in 2001, and during the first Gulf war in 1991 in Iraq.
The Times offered a bleak assessment of Israels capability to refuel its fighter planes, saying Israel would have to use airborne refueling planes, called tankers, but Israel is not thought to have enough.
In a sharp contrast to the Times analysis, Hans Rühle, a leading German security expert, asserted last week in a lengthy article in the Die Welt that a comprehensive Israel-based bombing campaign could significantly set back, perhaps a decade or more, Irans nuclear weapons program.
In the article titled How Israel can destroy Irans nuclear program Rühle analyzed the number of Israeli fighter jets and bombs necessary to obliterate Irans nuclear facilities.
Citing experts, Rühle writes that an extensive bombing campaign is within Israels capability to decimate Irans ability to continue to make progress on developing nuclear weapons.
According to Rühle, there are 25 to 30 facilities in Iran used for its atomic program, of which six are primary-bombing targets.
He cites the nuclear enrichment plant Natanz, the conversion facility in Isfahan, the heavy water reactor Arak and the weapons and munitions sites in Parchin. In addition, he notes the deep underground enrichment facility Fordow and Irans operational nuclear plant Bushehr.
The popular PJ Media news website columnist, David P. Goldman, wrote last week that Hans Rühle was one of the toughest and most perspicacious analysts in those heady days during the Cold war period.
Goldman added that Rühle is highly confident that Israel could knock out Irans nuclear program for a decade or more with about 25 of its 87 F-15 fighter-bombers and a smaller number of its F-16s. Each of the F- 15s would carry two of the GBU-28 bunker busters, with the F-16s armed with smaller bombs.
Rühle writes that surveillance information about Natanz is solid, adding that the project has been observed from satellites and from the location from 'Israeli tourists.'
He added that Israel strongest bunker buster bombs GBU-28 could destroy the roof of the facility. If the damage is not sufficient, a second GBU-28 could be launched to complete the aim of destruction.
According to Rühle, Israels successful obliteration of the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 laid an important precedent. He writes that many experts believe that strikes against Irans nuclear operations could set back the program 10 years, or possibly longer, based on present knowledge.
The fighter plane requirement would entail 20 F-15 machines each accompanied with two GBU-28s. He estimates that Israels air force has over 87 F-15 planes at its disposal. The conversion Nuclear Technology Center of Isfahan, which is largely vulnerable to attack because its buildings are not underground, could be eliminated with GBU-27 bombs. Isfahan converts the yellow cake process into uranium.
The least difficult challenge for Israels air force is the heavy-water reactor Arak, observes Rühle. The above-ground facility could be razed with 10 GBU-10 bombs, wrote Rühle. The strike would require 10 F- 16 fighter jets.
According to Rühe, the most difficult obstacle to destroy is the underground Fordow enrichment plant. He notes that special team forces would have to attack the facility.
The alternative would be to strike the tunnel openings with GBU-28 bombs to plug the entry points for a period of time.
The complex Parchin site remains beyond the International Atomic Energy Agency inspections and it is unclear how many bombs it would take to destroy the over 100 buildings, many of which are buried underground. Nuclear warheads are believed to be worked on in the Parchin plant.
Rühle views the nuclear power plant Bushehr as a possible primary military target, largely because the plants plutonium can be used for weapons. In contrast to the United States State Department, which views the Bushehr plant as a civilian-energy program without a military dimension, Rühle writes that the destruction of Bushehr should not be a problem for Israels army 10 GBU-28 or GBU-27 bombs would be sufficient.
He quotes a high-level representative of the Israeli nuclear expert class who was in Berlin last year. The Israeli expert said we cannot live with this reactor in Bushehr because it is not immune to stopping the spread of proliferation-related material.
Rühle adds that if Israel can wipe out essential pieces of Irans nuclear program, then the problem is solved for a generation.
His essay is filled with a kind of supreme confidence about the ability of Israels military systems.
Israels Air Force is first class, writes Rühle. Their pilots are conditioned from the history of Israel and the constant dangers faced by the Jewish state.
Though Rühle identifies the refueling of Israels fighter jets to be a thorny problem because Israel only has five tankers of the type KC-130H and four of the category B- 700, he said he believes the number to be higher.
He calls the public refuel tanker number a rather lean supply, but notes that Israels government had requested to buy or lease from US President George W. Bushs Administration additional refueling tanks. He adds that Israels Air Force has expertise over the buddy refueling process among F-15 and F-16 planes. There is also the possibility of a temporary landing to refuel in Syria, Turkey, or Iraq, noted Rühle.
Israeli 707 tanker
Noooo, get outta here, really?
When you’re even more anti-Israel than the Germans, what does that tell you?
The job will be a lot easier if those “tourists” can have a laser or some other electronic signature painted on the targets. Identifying the “tourists” is an obsession with Iranian counter intelligence. The “sacking” of the British embassy by “enraged students” was an attempt to obtain information that might identify the “tourists.” However Iran is not Iraq. They have demonstrated recently some technical sophistication (downing of the drone) and there is little opportunity for “surprise”.
They can do it but again logistics comes into play. This air battle will dwarf the Battle of Britain and War over Europe.
They may strech the IAF to the limits. Many on these facilities are underground so a 5000 pound bomb will not cut it.A reasonable expectation that by 2010 Iran could pose a serious threat to its neighbors and Israel by creating enough of an inventory of nuclear weapons to deter an Israeli strike.
Take in the Factors:
1.Iran obtains a modern surface-to-air missile (SAM) defense system, such as the Russian S-300 PMU2Favorit (currently in negotiation)giving Iran an advanced 2.Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability in addition to an advanced SAM Air Defense System.
3.Development of a maritime capability to threaten commercial shipping and Naval Forces in the Persian Gulf and possibly interrupt the flow of oil through the Straits of Hormuz.
4.Possession of highly accurate short, medium and long range ballistic missiles capable of carrying Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
5.Use of a number of trained and controlled counter insurgency groups to increase the threat of asymmetric attacks against Israel (part of the scenario of the Turning Point 3 exercises).
A recent study indicates that although the task is daunting, a military strike by Israel is possible utilizing a flight pattern along the Syrian-Turkish border, then over a small portion of Iraq, then into Iran and back the same route.
I believe Hans Rühleover the NYSlimes.
glimpse at the target facilities provides a picture of what is required to destroy or incapacitate them for a long period of time. It also shows a tremendous effort to provide built-in protection for what it claims is a peaceful nuclear energy program.
The strike force required for this mission:
Target if 2 PG Bombs if 1 PG Bomb
Facility: are carried: is carried:
Natanz 25 F-15F 50 F-15F
Esfahan 3 F-16I 5 F-16I
Arak 4 F-16I 8 F-16I
Total: 25 F-15E + 7 F-16I 50 F-15E + 13 F-16I
F-15E Empty Weight plus Maximum Fuel = 66,831 lbs;
F-15E Take off Gross Weight = 81,000 lbs;
So each F-15E will still be capable of carrying an extra 10,000 lbs, 2 BLU-113; 5,000 lb class warheads (2 GBU-28 PG Bombs).
The total suggested attack force could be 25 F-15E for strike and 7 F-16I, with 38 F-16I for Air Escort/Fighter Sweep and Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD). This means the total allocated strike force against nuclear targets in Iran is 70 aircraftwell within the Israeli practice exercises of 100 air-craft.
It gives me great satisfaction to see a photo like that, with the tiny Nation of Israel, geographically speaking, arming themselves and getting prepared to kick butt if necessary. Go Bebe!
Actually,Israel has a huge order for their submarines
In the event of an Israeli attack what role will Mr. Obama assign those blue water ships he has placed in the narrow confines of the Persian Gulf? Will they join the attack, violate Iranian airspace to rescue downed pilots? Will the Iranians attack them with shore based anti ship missiles?
The Fifth Fleet will join the attack and keeping the Strait open.The Israelis are betting on that. The Iranians will attack with their anti ship missiles.
“Will the Iranians attack them with shore based anti ship missiles?” Hopefully, yes. At that point the Navy is unchained and kicking ass.
If Obama decides to sit on the sidelines he loses the election and violates every strategic treaty we have signed with Israel.
I’m aware of that, but in the public mind German = Nazi, and thus I was saying that Mr. Obama is worse than the Nazis. LOL
And if those ships are attacked with anti ship missiles, will the attack be easily repulsed or will the Navy lose ships and suffer significant causalities? What effect will that have on the American people, and the world? This is the time to consider these questions.
U.S. Navy ships are equipped with anti-missile systems. They can hold out quite easily during and especially attack. The goal of the US Navy and Marines is to get those islands and oil/gun platforms out there in the Gulf out of commission.