Could Israel knock out Iran's nuke program?

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by 17thfabn, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    Could Israel knock out the Iranian nuclear weapons program?

    Much is made of the attack on Iraq’s nuclear program in 1981. This was a master piece of air war. But the challenges to the Israeli armed forces in attacking Iran’s program would be much greater.

    Things that make an attack on Iran’s nuclear program more difficult than the attack on Iraq’s in 1981 for the Israeli’s:

    1. Distance, it is much further to Iran than it was to Iraq.

    2. Area, Iran is much larger, almost 4 times larger than Iraq. That gives you more area to hide equipment in.

    3.Iran is less distracted than Iraq was in 1981. In 1981 Iran and Iraq were at war, forcing Iraq to spread out its air defenses.

    4. Preparedness, Iran has to know the Israeli’s are considering such an attack. I would think the nuclear sites have the highest air defense of any place in Iran.

    5. Political atmosphere. Israel could expect more opposition from the Obama administration than it faced from Reagan administration.

    I am not considering the right or wrong of such and attack just the feasibility of it from a technical stand point.
  2. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Anythings possible, and I think they will give it a try if it looks like Iran might have the where with all to launch a nuclear strike. No way they will just sit there waiting to be hit.
  3. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    Isreal isn't really worried what Mrs. obama thinks. Barak thinks what she thinks so they just go straight to the source.

    Isreal could do it, but it wouldn't be as pretty. Longer distance and better warning would make for a mess, but if they do something they go all out.
  4. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    Israel likely developed nuclear weapons jointly with S. Africa by 1971. The 1973 war almost went nuclear. If and when "it hits the fan" Israel is likely the 4th. largest Hydrogen power on this planet and has the capability to turn its regional tormentors into "green glass". We live in very dangerous times.
  5. sabashimon

    sabashimon New Member

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    They were developed well before 1971
  6. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek New Member

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    To go along with number two and four combined, I would be less concerned about the air defenses or even "hiding" the nuclear sites or production facilities, but Iran knows this is being discussed and planned, and they could place these weapons and production systems deep underground in multiple locations that would make a strike very difficult. If any nation could do it, I believe Israel could due to their experience and the fact that when it really comes down to it, they don't have a lot to lose. The backlash from a pre-emptive strike would probably be much more tame than a mushroom cloud over Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
  7. nightfighter

    nightfighter New Member

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    From observing past Israeli operations, 1) It is not likely to be the same style (a repeat) air strike they used against Iraq's nuclear develpment...it will be something new and unexpected. 2) It will likely be very well planed and executed. 3) It will likely be successful.
  8. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    If I could interject...

    Israel would be going with F-15's and F-16's, probably clearing the way with Shrike missiles and striking with GBU-28's. Maybe F-35's later.

    Iran has a very capable air force, trained by us, and equipped with F-14's (still one of the most effective interceptors), F4-D's, Mirage F-1's, MIG-29's, etc etc. They can put up 300 well maintained fighters. Most of the bases are in the west. (Not mentioning Navy.)

    Iran has a capable air defense network, including some of the most modern Russian S-300 class missiles bought from Libya and Croatia. This puts them on par with China's ADA. (Keep in mind the S-400 class is considered able to detect our stealth aircraft.) It is known that Iran has S-300 PMU-1 missiles, which is just like our Patriot; can engage six aircraft at once and can knock down pretty much anything with wings. It's still being investigated if Russia sold any S-300 PMU-2's.

    If Israel struck today, they would have to hit 4 sites.

    If Israel waits...well they may have to hit a lot of sites, some 2,500+ km away.

    I'd give Israel less than 50/50 without F-117's.

    A clandestine ground operation may improve their odds greatly. My thinking is, probe Iran's administrators inside Natanz and Arak to see what they'll do for enough money and sex.

    An air strike, even if almost totally successful, may only knock the Iranian program out for 2-3 years.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  9. 308 at my gate

    308 at my gate New Member

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    One thing for sure, Israel is not going sit around waiting for a nuclear missle to hit them. Alot will depend on the intelligence that is gathered.
  10. sabashimon

    sabashimon New Member

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    I'd prefer to stay out of this conversation, however I would only remind that Israel has the capability to "reach out and touch someone" without the wheels-up approach.
  11. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek New Member

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    I understand this, I was just stating that whether or not one could fly / fight their way there, knowing where the target is located and having the capability to actually do damage are another matter.

    Also, though the F-14 is indeed one of the most capable interceptors ever devised, it is highly doubtful that the examples in Iranian hands are still airworthy, or at least not using missiles / radar / avionics / engines / etc. that match the capabilities of the originals.
  12. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    They're airworthy. They're occasionally spotted on the border. Even though we've cut off spare parts, they can fly about 30ish, which is bad news. Iran was delivered F14's of almost identical equipment to the US Navy...variation was only different because of when they were on the production line, not for any security reason.

    You must recall, the president then was Nixon. We trained their pilots at our Top Gun School too.

    Here's the serial numbers. Notice two deliveries.

    160299 F-14A 3-863
    160300 F-14A 3-864
    160301 F-14A 3-865
    160302 F-14A 3-866
    160303 F-14A 3-867
    160304 F-14A 3-868
    160305 F-14A 3-869
    160306 F-14A 3-870
    160307 F-14A 3-871
    160308 F-14A 3-872
    160309 F-14A 3-873
    160310 F-14A 3-874
    160311 F-14A 3-875
    160312 F-14A 3-876
    160313 F-14A 3-877
    160314 F-14A 3-878
    160315 F-14A 3-879
    160316 F-14A 3-880
    160317 F-14A 3-881
    160318 F-14A 3-882
    160319 F-14A 3-883
    160320 F-14A 3-884
    160321 F-14A 3-885
    160322 F-14A 3-886
    160323 F-14A 3-887
    160324 F-14A 3-888
    160325 F-14A 3-889
    160326 F-14A 3-890
    160327 F-14A 3-891
    160328 F-14A 3-892
    160329 F-14A 3-8001
    160330 F-14A 3-8002
    160331 F-14A 3-8003
    160332 F-14A 3-8004
    160333 F-14A 3-8005
    160334 F-14A 3-8006
    160335 F-14A 3-8007
    160336 F-14A 3-8008
    160337 F-14A 3-8009
    160338 F-14A 3-8010
    160339 F-14A 3-8011
    160340 F-14A 3-8012
    160341 F-14A 3-8013
    160342 F-14A 3-8014
    160343 F-14A 3-8015
    160344 F-14A 3-8016
    160345 F-14A 3-8017
    160346 F-14A 3-8018
    160347 F-14A 3-8019
    160348 F-14A 3-8020
    160349 F-14A 3-8021
    160350 F-14A 3-8022
    160351 F-14A 3-8023
    160352 F-14A 3-8024
    160353 F-14A 3-8025
    160354 F-14A 3-8026
    160355 F-14A 3-8027
    160356 F-14A 3-8028
    160357 F-14A 3-8029
    160358 F-14A 3-8030
    160359 F-14A 3-8031
    160360 F-14A 3-8032
    160361 F-14A 3-8033
    160362 F-14A 3-8034
    160363 F-14A 3-8035
    160364 F-14A 3-8036
    160365 F-14A 3-8037
    160366 F-14A 3-8038
    160367 F-14A 3-8039
    160368 F-14A 3-8040
    160369 F-14A 3-8041
    160370 F-14A 3-8042
    160371 F-14A 3-8043
    160372 F-14A 3-8044
    160373 F-14A 3-8045
    160374 F-14A 3-8046
    160375 F-14A 3-8047
    160376 F-14A 3-8048
  13. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    I believe if we'd give Israel F-117's, it could deter a lot of things.

    But you're right, there are other ways to develop that situation.
  14. sabashimon

    sabashimon New Member

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    Here's a new piece written by someone I respect, and that is apropos this discussion:
    (so much for staying out of this conversation :rolleyes:)

    Column One: Time's up on Iran
    Sep. 3, 2009
    Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST

    Over the past few weeks evidence has piled up that Iran is not years away from being capable of building nuclear bombs at will. It is months away. As the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Teheran's nuclear program makes clear, at its present rate of uranium enrichment, Iran will have sufficient quantities of enriched uranium to build two atomic bombs by February.

    What is most notable about this IAEA finding is that it comes in a report that does everything possible to cover up Iran's progress and intentions.

    Israel responded angrily to the report, alleging that the agency's outgoing director, Mohamed ElBaradei, suppressed information that confirms the military nature of Iran's program. In a statement released last Saturday, the Foreign Ministry alleged that the report "does not reflect the entirety of the information the IAEA holds on Iran's efforts to advance their military program, nor their continued efforts to conceal and deceive and their refusal to cooperate with the IAEA and the international community."

    Two weeks before the IAEA released its report, the US State Department published its assessment that Iran won't have the wherewithal to develop a bomb until 2013. According The Washington Post, this conclusion is based on the State Department's analysis of Iran's "technical capability."

    For all its failures, the latest IAEA report puts the lie to this State Department assessment.

    Moreover, as a recent study by Israeli missile expert Uzi Rubin shows, Iran already has several delivery options for its burgeoning nuclear arsenal. In a report published by The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Rubin, who has been awarded the Israel Defense Prize and oversaw the development of Israel's Arrow missile defense system, concludes that Iran today has the capacity to develop solid-fuel-based intermediate ballistic missiles with a range of 3,600 kilometers. That is, today, Iran has the capacity to attack not only Israel and other states in the Middle East. Since its successful test of its solid-fuel based Sejil missile in May, it has the demonstrated capacity to attack Europe as well.

    Furthermore, Teheran's successful upgrade of its ballistic missiles to satellite launchers has given it the capacity to launch nuclear weapons into the atmosphere. This renders Iran capable of launching an electromagnetic pulse attack from sea against just about any country. An EMP attack can destroy a state's electromagnetic grid and thus take a 21st-century economy back to the pre-industrial era. Such an attack on the US, for instance, would cripple the American economy, and render the US government at all levels incapable of restoring order or preventing mass starvation.

    THESE LATEST disclosures should focus the attention of Israel's leaders on a singular question: What can Israel do to prevent Iran from further expanding its nuclear capacity and block it from emerging as a nuclear power?

    The answer to this question is the same as it has been for the past six years, since the scale of Teheran's nuclear program was first revealed. Israel can order the Israel Air Force to bomb Iran's nuclear and missile facilities with the aim of denying Iran the ability to attack the Jewish state.

    The necessity for Israel to exercise its one option grows daily in light of what the rest of the world is doing in regards to Iran. Following the release of the IAEA report and ahead of the UN General Assembly's opening meeting later this month, this week US, German, British, French, Russian and Chinese diplomats met in Germany to discuss the possibility of ratcheting up Security Council sanctions against Iran. Ahead of the meeting, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both announced that they support stronger sanctions.

    But right on schedule, as the representatives of these countries sat down with one another, the Iranians told the media they are interested in negotiating. Suddenly, after stonewalling for more than a year, Teheran is willing to think about telling us the terms under which it will discuss the West's offer to provide the mullahs with all manner of rewards in exchange for an Iranian agreement to suspend the expansion of its of uranium enrichment, (which, as the IAEA report notes, is already great enough to produce two nuclear bombs by February).

    Taking their cue from the mullahs, the Russians and the Chinese are now saying that there is no reason to be hasty. Far wiser, in their view, would be a decision to sit down and see what the Iranians would like to do. No doubt, the Russians and Chinese are arguing that it will take some time - perhaps until February - to arrange such a meeting. And then, there is the prospect that such a meeting could end inconclusively but keep the door open for further talks sometime in late-2010 or early 2011. In the meantime, as far as the Russians and the Chinese are concerned, further UN sanctions would be unfair in light of Iran's willingness to engage diplomatically.

    But then even if the Russians and the Chinese supported stronger sanctions, the measure now being debated will have no impact on either Iran's ability or willingness to become a nuclear power. Today these leading nations are discussing the prospect of banning refined petroleum imports into Iran. Given that Iran, with its currently limited capacity to refine petroleum, is a net oil importer, for the past several years, the notion of banning the Iranian imports of refined petroleum products has been raised every time the IAEA submitted a report on Iran's nuclear program and every time more information came out describing its spectacular progress in missile development and uranium enrichment. Inevitably, this talk was dismissed the moment a mullah approached a microphone and hinted that Iran might be interested in cutting a deal.

    But while the West has consistently postponed imposing such sanctions, the Islamic republic has taken the prospect seriously. Over the past four years, Iran moved to reduce its vulnerability to such a ban. It has required citizens to adapt their cars to run on natural gas, which Iran has in abundance. Furthermore, in a joint venture with China, Teheran has launched a crash program to expand its domestic oil refining capabilities. With Chinese assistance, Iran is expected to have the refining capacity to meet its domestic needs by 2012.

    Beyond that, as former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton noted this week in The Wall Street Journal, even if the West were to impose such sanctions on Iran today, they would not impact the Iranian military's ability to operate. The only people who would be impacted by such sanctions are Iranian civilians.

    Here, too, it should be noted that the entire rationale of the ban on refined oil imports to Iran is that oil shortages will turn the public against the regime and the regime in turn will be forced to stand down against the international community in order to placate its gasoline-starved constituents. But if the regime's brutal repression of its opponents in the wake of the stolen June 12 presidential elections tells us anything, it tells us that the regime doesn't care about what the Iranian public thinks of it. Indeed, in the face of rising domestic opposition to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the regime's best bet may be to launch a war against the hated Jews in order to unify the clerical leadership - which is now split between those supporting the regime and those supporting the opposition - behind the regime.

    Finally, the discussion of sanctions is irrelevant because every move that Iran is making shows that the regime is determined to go to war. Its massive diversion of resources to its nuclear and ballistic missile program shows that the regime is absolutely committed to becoming a nuclear power. Its move to build an open military alliance with the Lebanese government, together with its expansion of its military ties to Syria through the financing of the sale of advanced Russian aircraft to Damascus and the proliferation of nuclear technology, shows that it is building up the capabilities of its underlings. Then, too, this week's report that the Hizbullah weapons cache in southern Lebanon which exploded in July contained chemical weapons indicates that Iran is already providing its terror proxies with nonconventional arsenals to expand its war-making capabilities against Israel and the West.

    ALL IN all, the totality of Iran's moves make clear that it is not interested in using its nuclear program as a bargaining chip to gain all manner of goodies from the West. It is planning to use its nuclear program as a means of becoming a nuclear power. And it wishes to become a nuclear power because it wishes to wage war against its enemies.

    And all in all, the totality of the UN-led international community's responses to Teheran's moves make clear that the world will take no effective action to prevent Iran from gaining the capacity to wage nuclear war. The world today will again do nothing to prevent the genocide of Jewry.

    And that's the thing of it. So long as the mullahs continue to signal that the Jews are their first target, the world will be content to allow them to build their nuclear weapons and to use them. As US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's contention that the US will retaliate against Iran if it launches a nuclear attack against Israel makes clear, Washington will only consider acting against Teheran after the US moves to the top of Teheran's target list.

    The question then is whether Israel has the ability to effectively attack Iran even if the US opposes such a strike. Based on open source material, the answer to this central question is yes, Israel can launch an effective strike against Iran.

    Over the past several years, the IAF has demonstrated that it has the power-projection capability to reach Iran's nuclear installations, strike and return home. The key nuclear installations have been visited by IAEA inspectors. They are not hundreds of meters underground. They are not invulnerable to ordnance Israel already possesses. They can be destroyed or at least severely impaired.

    The route to Iran is also open. Various leaked reports indicate that Saudi Arabia has given Israel a green light to overfly its airspace en route to Iran.

    Finally, consistent polling data shows that the Israeli public understands the need for a strike and would be willing to accept whatever consequences flow in its wake. The public will support a government decision to strike even if the strike is not a one-off like the 1981 IAF strike that destroyed Iraq's Osirak reactor. The public will support the government even if the strike precipitates a condemnation by the US and a resumption of hostilities with Lebanon and even with Syria.

    With each passing day, Iran moves closer to the bomb and closer to initiating war on its terms. The international community will do nothing to preempt this danger. Israel must act. Fighting a war on our terms is eminently preferable to fighting one on Iran's.

    caroline@carolineglick.com
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  15. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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  16. Danwin22

    Danwin22 Member

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    Russia needs money for new aircraft while our government, in it's wisdom, cuts production of the latest and greatest.

    We need to give Israel a few F-117's but tell them they have a limited shelf life and need to be exercised regularly.

    You have to respect the way Israel can cut through the BS and their understanding of the word "Defense."
  17. red14

    red14 New Member

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    I believe Israel to be equal to the USA in everything military except btue numbers. Maybe above us in terms of readiness, if only because of top leadership.

    As an ally, on a par with Britain. I trust no one else as much. We as a nation should all thank them and support them both.
  18. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    The bottom line is this. Today, just as in 1939, most the world is sitting around arguing with each other about an obvious and dire threat to world peace.

    The Iranian leadership (controlled by its extreme religious leaders) clearly believes that Israel must be destroyed. If they achieve the capability to have a reasonable chance of accomplishing this goal, they may well try to do so regardless of the cost to themselves, their citizens, or their Islamic neighbors.

    "Talk minus action equals zero". It is not possible to reason with those who are determined to follow a destructive course of action without regard to the consequences to themselves or others.

    Should Israel be totally destroyed, its actual (or mere) ceasing to exist would not likely have a big economic impact on China, the former CCCP states, Western Europe, South America, Australia or even North America.

    However, considering the the likely military realities, today, it is unlikely that Israel will ever be caught off guard again as they were in 09/1973. An "all out" thermonuclear war in this region, will likely have consequences that will spread all over this planet.

    Armageddon????
  19. hkruss

    hkruss Active Member

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    To answer the original question, yes, I do think Israel could knock out Iran's nukes. I am more curious as to what the aftermath would be.

    Hijack Alert!!!


    Obviously, our weak a#$ leaders would wail and moan and be pissed at Israel. If I were Israel, I would think, "so what. The U.S. isn't in imminent danger of being wiped off the map. We are". And it isn't like our current government is THAT supportive of Israel right now anyway. Israel MUST do what they have to in order to survive. The Iranians have foolishly shown their intentions time after time by publicly, continually, announcing their goal of the destruction of Israel. If they had been smart, they should have not kept announcing their bellicose intentions, and quietly kept working on their nuke program. Sure, they would still be watched, but likely would not have been deemed to be as much of a threat and in my opinion, they would have had the element of surprise on their side. In other words, don't keep telling a guy you are going to hit him. The other guy is damn sure going to be ready for you. And so here we are today.

    So if Israel takes out the nukes, how would Iran respond? Would they try to cause trouble in the Persian gulf by limiting shipping, knowing this would have a severe economic impact on many of Israel's allies, thus hoping those same allies would be pressured to somehow impose sanctions on Israel as punishment, this, in order to re-open the shipping lanes? Would we allow the Iranians to try this tactic? With our current weak leaders, I somehow feel the U.S. would not be willing to call Iran's bluff, and I think Iran knows this.
    After looking at a map, I see that if they wanted to launch a retaliatory air or missile strike, they would have to go through Turkish, Iraqi or Saudi airspace. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think any of those nations would willingly let that happen. If they did overfly any of those countries, what do you think the response would be? Do you think this could potentially lead to an all out conflict in the middle east?

    I am not schooled in the art of warfare or geopolitics, so I would be very interested to hear responses from those of you who are.

    Sorry for the hijack, but I felt the original question begged a secondary question concerning the aftermath.
  20. sabashimon

    sabashimon New Member

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    Hezbollah has about 40-50,000 rockets situated close to the lebanon-Israel border, aimed at us. How we've allowed that situation to present itself is fodder for a whole 'nuther conversation, but I would imagine that should Israel attack the facilities in Iran, there will be a very heavy barrage coming from the North.
    Interestingly, poll after poll shows that while the Israeli public is cognizant of the risks involved, the vast majority are supportive of their government taking appropriate action against Iran.
    Hamas in Gaza has nowhere near the capabilities of Hezbollah, but by virtue of being, Like Hezbollah, a client of Iran, I would imagine that there would be a response of some sort from that border as well.
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General Military Arms & History Forum Will Israel strike Iran? Nov 22, 2007