Sunday, October 17, 2010

DTN News: Lockheed Martin Awarded $24M Contract To Continue Maritime Surveillance Systems For Anti Submarine Warfare

Defense News: DTN News: Lockheed Martin Awarded $24M Contract To Continue Maritime Surveillance Systems For Anti Submarine Warfare
*Automated Signal Processing Capabilities Will Increase Undersea Situational Awareness
Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin
(NSI News Source Info) SAN DIEGO, - October 18, 2010: Advanced acoustic processing and tracking capabilities provided by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] will enhance underwater surveillance and help increase situational awareness for the U.S. Navy fleet.

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a follow-on contract from the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command to provide technology updates and new concepts to detect and track submarines. This contract extension is valued at $24 million.

“For more than 10 years we have provided the Navy with innovative automation technology to counter asymmetric threats and conduct anti-submarine warfare,” said Jim Quinn, vice president -of Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions-Defense. “The capabilities we are providing will help detect, track, and localize undersea threats faster and more accurately.”

The team will engineer enhancements to the Navy’s common Integrated Undersea Sensor System hardware and software baseline, or Integrated Common Processor (ICP) system, which assists operators in localizing and tracking surface and subsurface maritime contacts. Managed by the Program Executive Office, Littoral Mine Warfare, PMS 485, the ICP system is being developed to provide a common workstation across all legacy and future undersea sensors and platforms.

In addition, Lockheed Martin will improve automation and localization capabilities to enable automatic detection and tracking of contact-generated acoustic energy (often described as lines on sonar grams). These automation capabilities will support key Navy initiatives to improve detection and tracking capabilities well into the future while simultaneously reducing operator workload, simplifying operator training, and limiting system development costs.

Lockheed Martin has supported the Program Executive Office, Littoral Mine Warfare since 2005, providing PMS 485 with acoustic signal processing in support of fixed and towed array systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.5 billion.

DTN News: Chinese Navy - Current Status Of MCM Ships With PLAN

Defense News: DTN News: Chinese Navy - Current Status Of MCM Ships With PLAN
Source: Information Dissemination
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - October 18, 2010: There is a new minesweeper class coming into service with China recently. I thought it would be a good time to go through the history of PLAN mine warfare development.

MCM operation has long been a huge weakness in PLAN. If ASW is widely viewed as the Achilles Heel of PLAN, then MCM is not that far behind. As numerous navies started to develop a new generation of MCM ships in the 70s and 80s built with glass-reinforced plastic material, equipped with remotely operated vehicle mine neutralization system and advanced minehunting and classification sonar, China was stuck with Soviet 50s era T-43/Type 6610 minesweepers.

China bought the licensed production to Project 254K and 254M minesweepers in the 50s. The first 4 vessels that were built with Soviet supplied kits were Type 6605. After that, China started to build Type 6610 based on Soviet documentations to Type 254M minesweepers. As time went on, China eventually indigenized everything after the Soviet-China split and made more modifications to turn Type 6610 into more of a patrol boat.

A total of 33 Type 6610 vessels were built all the way up to 1987 and several of which were even involved in real combat against Vietnamese Navy. Even now, PLAN still operates about 15 of these Type 6610 minesweepers including the frequently photographed No. 830 to 834 of East Sea Fleet.

By the late 1970s, China started development of a new type of coastal minesweeper. This class, known as the Type 082 Wosao class, first joined service in 1988. They are 44.8 m long, 6.2 m wide and have a draft of 3.7 m. They were the first sign of a post T-43 + modernized minesweeping design by China. They were equipped with Type 316 mini contact sweep, type 317 magnetic sweep, type 318 acoustic sweep and type 319 infrasonic sweep. These vessels can also be used to control the Type 312 remote minesweeping drones. This ship class basically consists of the original Type I variant ships (No. 801 to 803) and the improved Type II variant (No. 806、807、816、817, 820 to 827). You can recognize the difference just by looking at the bridge. Here are some of the ships from this class.

As we arrived at the current wave of PLAN modernization, MCM was clearly a huge weakness in PLAN. The Type 082 class is modern compared to T-43, but they are only suitable for coastal operations and are not modern by international standard. PLAN needed MCM vessels that would push it to the modern level of MCM ships that came into service with different NATO navies in the 80/90s like the Avenger class, Tripartite class, Sandown class and Type 343 Hameln class. PLAN has kind of moved into this new era of MCM operation with 2 new classes in the past few years. The first one is the Type 081 minesweeper. They are built more for seagoing mine warfare operations than Type 082. They are larger, probably close to the size of T-43s, equipped with more modern sweeping systems, mine detection sonar and modern command system (like GPS, radar, display console, combat system). At the current time, we know of at least 4 units of this class (805, 810, 839 and 840). Each of these ships cost around $37 million in 2008. The second MCM class is the Type 082II (or another designation) minehunter. So far, there is only one unit of this ship built. As you can see with the photos below, it is very similar in size to Type 081. I would say they are both around 550 to 600 ton in displacement.

I think it has taken a while for the next ship of this class to come out, because it represented too much of an advancement in PLAN. Similar to other ship series, this first unit is testing out a lot of new equipments and concepts before further units are built. This is probably the first MCM ship in PLAN system that does not use any kind of mechanical sweep and probably the first one to be built with Glass reinforced plastic. As shown below, it is also the first MCM ship to be equipped with mine disposing ROV (+crane to lower ROV) and advanced sonar management system. The sonar system is reported to be able to track and identify everything with several hundreds meters. In fact, one of the pictures showed a scale of up to 200 m, but I'm not sure if they have a longer tracking mode.

As it happened, we saw a new class of remote controlled minesweeping drones recently. This development is kind of interesting, because China has been studying different navies around the world for ideas in improvement. In most cases, PLAN follows the path of USN (like 052C + combat system, 071/LCAC, Type 920 hospital ship). In this case, it seems like PLAN found German navy's Ensdorf class to be the one that would be the best for its given requirements. The dimensions of 804 is very similar to Ensdorf class and the dimensions of this new Type 8041 drone is very similar to Seehund drones. It looks like 804 will be operating with 3 or 4 of these drones + ROVs in disposing mines.

DTN News: Russian-Indian Joint Drills Enter Active Anti-terrorism Stage

Defense News: DTN News: Russian-Indian Joint Drills Enter Active Anti-terrorism Stage
Source: This report being compiled by Roger Smith - DTN News from reliable sources RIA Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - October 18, 2010: Russian troops started on Sunday an active phase of anti-terrorist drills on Indian territory as part of joint Russian-Indian exercises, the Russian Defense ministry said.

"As part of the exercises, international Russian-Indian units have been set up, which are currently practicing operational coordination, working on practical training missions in mountains, arranging interaction between units," the ministry said.

"In particular, mixed companies have started patrols in the areas of the presumed terrorists' location. Mobile checkpoints have been set up on mountainous paths and roads to exclude the penetration of terrorists into populated areas and important state facilities," the ministry said.

The INDRA-2010 exercises were launched on October 16 at Chaubattia, in Uttarakhand, a mountainous area near the country's border with China and Nepal.

Russia sent more than 200 troops from its 34th mountain brigade, based in the North Caucasus, to join the Indian troops in the INDRA 2010 drills.

Russian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft delivered the Russian troops in the north-east of India on Thursday.

The Russian troops are equipped with lightweight Permyachka Infantry Suits, which protect at least 80 percent of the body surface from small-caliber bullets and low-speed shrapnel.

The drills will last through October 24.

The Indian and Russian military have conducted joint INDRA exercises since 2003, including biannual peacekeeping drills.

India's military cooperation with Russia goes back nearly half a century, and the Asian country accounts for about 40% of Russian arms exports.

DTN News: CWG Delhi 2010 - Suresh Kalmadi And Sheila Dikshit Are Mud Slinging Bollywood Style Drama"Knock Out"

Defense News: DTN News: CWG Delhi 2010 - Suresh Kalmadi And Sheila Dikshit Are Mud Slinging Bollywood Style Drama"Knock Out"
Source: This report being compiled by Roger Smith - DTN News from reliable sources including IANS & NDTV
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - October 18, 2010: Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Sunday hit back at Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for casting aspersions on it, saying this was 'disappointing' and 'uncalled for.' ("Knock Out" movie poster has no reference to this report or article)

Kalmadi strongly defended the OC and said that despite a series of attacks in the runup to the Games, he was quiet, but this should not be taken as weakness.

'Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's aspersions on corruption in

the OC are most 'disappointing and uncalled for. It is not right to deflect and point fingers at others when she must indulge in self-reflection on corruption in her own departments. She has said that the ways of the Organising Committee are mysterious whereas the Commonwealth Games chief, Mr. Michael Fennell, declared the conduct of the Games as exceptional and successful,'

Kalmadi said in a statement.

Kalmadi also criticised Dikshit's attempt to take sole credit for getting the Games Village ready in time.

'The Games have succeeded because of the efforts of Team India, including a large number of people and agencies and not any individual. Mrs. Dikshit's attempt to take credit for getting the Games Village ready in time does not fit with the team concept. The lieutenant governor of Delhi and the Organising Committee, who were preparing the Village for over two years, co-ordinated the work of a number of agencies to ensure that it was entirely ready to welcome the athletes.'

'We have already welcomed the prime minister's decision to set up a probe panel and have said that we will support it. We are sure that the terms of reference of the Shunglu Committee will include not just the scope of work undertaken by the OC at a budget of

Rs.1,620 crore but also the Rs.16,000 crore spent by the Delhi government.'

Kalmadi, in his first strong statement since the OC came under a corruption cloud, said his patience should not be seen as a sign of weakness.

'The OC was constantly being criticised for delays and shoddy work when we were not at all involved in any construction activity. Unmindful, we kept defending the venues and infrastructure and reassured the Games family that everything would be ready in time for the Games.

'I was quiet as I wanted the Games to succeed. Keeping quiet should not be interpreted as a sign of weakness. Nor should patience be seen as a sign of guilt. It was more important to focus on the task of conducting the Games well.

'National pride was at stake and I didn't want that to be affected,' Kalmadi maintained.

'Our challenge was to keep the morale of our workforce of over 4,000 high. We succeeded in doing that and ensuring the smooth delivery of the largest ever Commonwealth Games. But, on Dusshera day, I owe it to the OC that we speak out. We don't want to be the scapegoats anymore,' he added.

Kalmadi also listed out the responsibilities undertaken by the government for the Games.

'In 2005, in the overall scheme of preparation for the Games, government laid down the following institutional arrangement:

'Sports infrastructure is to be developed by government agencies and funded directly by the government. The development, upgradation and improvement of the city infrastructure are to be done by the government of Delhi with the support of the government of India.

'The responsibility for the conduct and delivery of the Games is of the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi,' he said.

Kalmadi said he is proud that the world has declared that conduct of the Games was faultless, with all competitions being held as per schedule.

'A massive amount of work was done in planning and preparing for the Games by innumerable people under the guidance of the Indian Olympic Association and the National Sports Federations. The execution of these plans was impeccable. It led OC to deliver the spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies that were overseen by the Group of Ministers,' Kalmadi pointed out.

Blaming Dikshit for the delays in infrastructure mess, Kalmadi said reports of lapses in getting the city infrastructure ready caused many teams to believe that Games could not be held.

'When the foot overbridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed, it led to doubts about the safety of the people. Reports of delays in getting the city ready also caused many teams to believe that Games could not be held. We had to do a lot of hand-holding and cajoling to ensure that the full complement of 71 nations and territories took part in the Games.'

'We would like to point out that all decisions in the OC are made by the Executive Board, which includes two representatives each of the central and Delhi governments. And the Prime Minister's Office deputed a number of government officers to work with the Organising Committee.'

'Transparency and accountability remain the watch words in the OC. We are confident that the guilty will not be spared irrespective of which agency they belong to,' Kalmadi maintained.

Related Stories

DTN News: Boeing Team Demonstrates Fully Immersive Training Environment For US Army Ground Forces

Defense News: DTN News: Boeing Team Demonstrates Fully Immersive Training Environment For US Army Ground Forces
Source: DTN News / Boeing - Dt. Oct 14
(NSI News Source Info) FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo., - October. 17, 2010: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] was part of a team that demonstrated a fully immersive and integrated environment for ground forces training Sept. 29-30 at Fort Leonard Wood. The environment replicated an urban setting in Afghanistan, including costumed actors fluent in the local languages, realistic audio effects and typical architecture.

"Our customers want to provide their soldiers and Marines with a training environment as comprehensive as aircrews receive in aircraft simulators," said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president for Training Systems & Services. "If we can train them in immersive and stressful environments before they deploy, we can help them make better decisions to accomplish their missions and return home safely."

Boeing has identified and created innovative training tools that can be seamlessly integrated into existing facilities at other military installations. These include the Virtual Mission Board -- a table with a built-in touch screen for tracking participants, controlling the exercise and recording data for the after-action review.

Boeing's industry partners for the event included Advantage Mold Inc., Creative Technologies Inc., the Leonard Wood Institute, Iowa State University, Laser Shot Inc., MiLanguages, Military Wraps, Ubisense and Zebra Imaging.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

# # #

Note to media: The Virtual Mission Board will be on display Oct. 25-27 during the Association of the United States Army annual meeting in Washington. A media demonstration will take place Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. Eastern time at the Boeing booth.


Alison Sheridan
Boeing Training Systems & Services
Office: 314-232-8187
Mobile: 314-614-4823

DTN News: CWG Delhi 2010 - Witchhunt Has Started To Find Scapegoat For Excessive Expenditure To Tune Of US$ 14 Billion

Defense News: DTN News: CWG Delhi 2010 - Witchhunt Has Started To Find Scapegoat For Excessive Expenditure To Tune Of US$ 14 Billion
Source: Special report by Roger Smith - DTN News
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - October 17, 2010: The media has already decided to convict Suresh Kalmadi as the major player in conjuction for excessive expenditure, alleged irregularities and corruption involved in organising the Commonwealth Games 2010 for 12 days sports show costing treasury Rs. 70,000 crores or US$ 14 billion, hugely successful and incident free.

In the interim, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday, Oct 15 sent a harsh message to the tainted Organising Committee by not inviting OC chief Suresh Kalmadi to his residence, where he met and congratulated the CWG 2010 medal winners. However, Sports Minister MS Gill was part of the meeting.

The clamour for Kalmadi’s head resumed on Friday. The Congress distanced itself from him, saying, “We are not in the business of giving a clean or unclean chit to anyone.”
This is in tune with Sonia Gandhi’s message at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting on August 19: “I trust that as soon as the Games are over, the government will look into the allegations of malpractice and spare no one found involved.”

Just a day after the conclusion of the 12-day sporting event, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) began the investigation. On Friday, Oct 15, the auditing

"We have started with the CPWD office inside the S P Mukherjee Stadium today. Now that the athletes have vacated the venues, we will gradually start sending our inspection officers to all the stadia," a CAG official is quoted as saying.

The Centre appointed the high-level committee headed by the former Comptroller and Auditor-General, VK Shungloo, to look into “all aspects of organising" of the scandal-marred Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Quoting the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), media reports suggest that the committee is expected to submit its report to Dr Manmohan Singh in three months.

It would be imperative for Suresh Kalmadi to present his case/story voluntary to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) instead being pursued, to maintain his credibility as Kalmadi is being isolated from every concern. Once Kalmadi's case is being processed, obviously heads will roll and instead of three months resolving the case, it will linger for timeless a period like any other numerous cases in the twilight zone in Indian history.

Let us see, if Dr Manmohan Singh's government has the real will to stamp out corruption and bring those entities invovled in alleged irregularities and corruption for CWG Delhi 2010 to justice.

Colourful ceremony draws curtains on 2010 Commonwealth Games

A dazzling laser show and a musical extravaganza on marked the finale of the Commonwealth Games, the biggest sporting event hosted by India which crowned itself with sporting glory by winning an unprecedented 101 medals.

DTN News: Falcon Country

Defense News: DTN News: Falcon Country
Source: Strategy Page
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - October 17, 2010: In Egypt, the old air force is fading fast, and the emerging one looks like it s American counterpart. That's because Egypt is one of the largest operators of the F-16 Fighting Falcon (number 4, actually ), and has 195 in service and another 25 on order.
Egypt is also buying new accessories for their F-16s, including targeting and reconnaissance digital camera pods as well as defense electronics (radar and missile detectors.) Another order for 24 F-16/50/52 fighters is pending. This new order would give Egypt 244 F-16s. Some of the 38 older F-16A/B models are being either upgraded or retired. The rest are C or D models.

The F-16 is the core of Egyptian air power, as their remaining combat aircraft consists of 78 aging French Mirage F5s and Mirage 2000s, 110 Russian and Chinese MiG-21s, and 24 U.S. F-4s. The main reason Egypt has so many F-16s is because, as part of the 1977 peace deal with Israel, the U.S. has been providing several billion dollars in military and economic aid a year. The understanding is that most of this money will be used to buy American products. The F-16 seemed like a good choice, if only because Israel was very happy with them. So is the UAE, and so is Turkey and Greece. The region can be accurately described as Falcon Country.

There are actually six major models of the F-16 currently in use, and they are identified by block number (32, 40, 42, 50, 52, 60), plus the Israeli F-16I, which is a major modification of the Block 52. Another special version (the Block 60), for the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is called the F-16E. The various block mods included a large variety of new components (five engines, four sets of avionics, five generations of electronic warfare gear, five radars and many other mechanical, software, cockpit and electrical mods.) Countries like Turkey can thus add the new components and turn an older F-16 into a more powerful late model. There are also some older (Block 1, 5, 15, 20, 25, 30) aircraft out there, all with two decade old technology.

The F-16 is the most numerous post-Cold War jet fighter, with over 4,200 built, and more in production. There are 24 nations using the F-16, and 14 have ordered more, in addition to their initial order. During The Cold War, Russia built over 10,000 MiG-21s, and the U.S over 5,000 F-4s, but since then warplane production has plummeted about 90 percent. Even with the end of the Cold War in 1991, the F-16 has been popular enough to keep the production lines going. This despite the fact that the F-35 is supposed to replace the F-16. But the F-35 price keeps going up (it's headed north of $100 million per aircraft), and the F-16 continues to get the job done at half that price.

*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
Disclaimer statement
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.

DTN News: Crossbows and Bolts: A Dangerous Nexus Between The Iranian Missile And WMD Programs

Defense News: DTN News: Crossbows and Bolts: A Dangerous Nexus Between The Iranian Missile And WMD Programs
Source: By Jahangir Arasli, Non-Resident Scholar, INEGMA
(NSI News Source Info) KOTTAKKAL, Kerala, India - October 17, 2010: A firing test of a new Sijjil-2 missile on May 20, 2009, that featured an increased 2,400 km range and solid propellant engine, has marked the next dangerous stage of the ambitious ballistic missile (BM) program of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). The purpose of this short report is to provide a brief analysis of different aspects of the program, establish a potential logical link between it and the nuclear program, developed by the IRI, and to offer possible explanations of the motivations behind the Iranian quest for what one may call a hybrid BM – WMD capabilities, with some potential scenarios of its application and implications. This essay represents the personal views of the author and not of INEGMA or other institutions.

The Iranian ballistic missiles program emerged amid the Iran – Iraq war in the 80s as an initial attempt to gain a deep strike capability, replacing the own degrading air force and mitigating Iraqi air superiority. However, the end of war did not lead to cessation of the program; moreover, it was steadily accelerated throughout the 90s. Starting with the supplies of ready weapons from foreign sources, within a decade and a half Iran had established and gradually enhanced the research and development branch, industrial-technological cycle, training base, and finally, an operational component of its own missile forces. The IRI missile effort has finally moved from the shadow into the spotlight in mid-00s, when the U.S. invasion in Iraq dramatically changed both the Iranian strategic environment and posture.

As of mid-2010, the IRI BM potential remains largely obscure. The bulk of the program constituted from the short-range ballistic missiles are mostly different derivatives of the 'Scud family'. However, the primary weapon of concern in relation to the presumable WMD program are the medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM), primarily the Shahab-3, which already are both in operational status and online production, the Sijjil-2 (formerly Ashoura) and the Shahab-4 and some other unidentified projects at the R&D stage. Based on open sources, the estimate number of deployed Shahab-3 launchers is between 6 and 12. This asset, essentially based on the North Korean No-Dong design, has a liquid fuel engine and a range near 2,000 km with Israel, Turkey, South-East Europe and the Arabian Peninsula in range. This is not a full-fledged missile force yet, but not a rudimentary either.

In addition, the May 2009 test of Sijjil-2 indicated a next qualitative stage of the Iranian BM program. The significance of a solid propellant engine goes far beyond purely technical domain and has also at least operational, and perhaps, even strategic implications. It dramatically reduces reaction time (i.e. provides a "launch-on-warning" capability given no need to fuel missiles prior to launch), complicates detection by space, aerial and other ISR assets and poses a more complex targeting challenge for the opposing military forces. Apparently, mobility, survivability, precision and range of fire of the IRI missile units would continue to advance. The intermediate-range ballistic missiles, based on the North Korean Taepodond design, and even intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) which development is disguised under space launch vehicle project are looming on the horizon: According to an open source estimate, the ICBM might be operational as early as in 2015; this timeline coincides with most estimates of when Iran will have enough weapon-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU). Presumably, these projects would be associated with development of multiple independently targeted / manoeuvrable re-entry vehicles and sophisticated guidance systems.

An indicator that requires a special attention is the place of the BM units in the Iranian military forces order of battle. It is integrated into the Air Force branch of the IRGC and should be considered as an essentially a missile force since it barely has any aircraft. More broadly, the IRGC is characterized by a unique role in the IRI politico-military hierarchy and the entire national security system, being subordinated directly to the top leadership. In particular, the IRGC is in charge of the national nuclear program, presented as "peaceful." In case the last statement is false, that implies that the Corps would combine control over both WMD capability and delivery means. The potential application of the IRI missile capabilities should be analyzed from two perspectives – conventional and unconventional, and viewed through the lenses of doctrine of asymmetric response, which is deeply enrooted into the Iranian strategic thinking.

Conventional Application

On one hand, Iran intensively used BM during its war with Iraq; by fact, in the last period of war it became an only asset to outreach the adversary's strategic rear. Later, in 1994 and 2000, Tehran was not hesitating to use ballistic missiles to strike the Iranian armed opposition camps in Iraqi territory in a rare application of essentially strategic weapons for counterinsurgency ends. At a glance, it justifies a suggestion that Iran needs its BM force to apply missiles per se precisely for such or similar purposes. Other suggestions would state that Iran might target Israel in case of war with its conventional missiles to influence its morale, similarly to what was attempted by Iraq in 1991. The BM also would give the Iranians a capability to project firepower to the southern shore of the Gulf (i.e. influence the global energy factor and threaten the U.S. military bases). That would become even more feasible, if the Iranian defense industry is able to develop cluster sub-munitions and fuel-air explosive warheads to supplement currently available high explosive (HE) warheads. Thus, the argumentation stressing conventional reasons behind the IRI missile capabilities – such as asymmetric military assets against a superior adversary(s), tool of economic warfare and strategic influence – has a right to exist.

However, certain observations allow challenging previous arguments. Iran continues to expand the range of missiles. Increase of the missile's range unavoidably leads to decrease of a payload. To deliver 100 kg of HE to a distance of 2,500 km does not make sense. An increased range also results in increase of the circular error probable (CEP) of the missile. In simple terms, that means that chances to defeat a distant target with the HE warhead especially having a relatively small physical signature, are modest at least. Such low accuracy leaves an only feasible conventionally-oriented goal – to strike spatial targets such as big cities, using BM as a tool of psychological terror, and providing an adversary a just cause and a legal case to respond overwhelmingly with full force. Subsequently, the real applicability of the BM in its conventional mode remains rather limited, and this brings the issue to an unconventional option.

Unconventional Application Track 1: Nuclear Option

The analysis of the details of the IRI nuclear program is not a purpose of this short report; however, it is based on the increasingly shared worldwide assumption that the end-state of the Iranian venture is a nuclear weapon. Iran rapidly boasts tempo of its enrichment effort at the specialized facility in Natanz and, probably, some other facilities dispersed throughout the country and hardened to avoid an Osirak-type air raid. An industrial quantity of the enriched uranium at the Iranian disposal is already a matter of fact; the anticipated next stage might become its weaponization. According some estimates, as for mid-2009 Iran was within one to three years from crude nuclear weapons, with a deliverable one looming on the horizon: The joint U.S.–Russian technical experts' threat assessment team reported at the same time, Iran would be able to successfully marry a 2,500 km range missile with a nuclear warhead in 6–8 years.

All said the above assertion makes treating the ballistic missiles from opposite to a conventional option – in a potential capacity as a nuclear weapons, the delivery means. Indeed, the tactical and technical features of the Iranian BM make them not just a more preferable delivery means than aircraft (that is important in the light of poor state of the IRI Air Force and overwhelming air superiority/air defense capabilities of the potential adversaries), but, by definition, the only weapon of choice in the Iran's inventory. The nuclear explanation removes a controversy over above mentioned range / payload ratio and CEP problems: Weight and impact effects of a nuclear warhead are totally different from a conventional one. Thus, the utility of the BM coupled with a nuclear weapon appears high. Below is a fictional geopolitical scenario that involves both components.

The Shiite communities of Bahrain and the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, led by radical pro-Iranian leaders start uprising against "oppressive regimes" and rapidly gain control over certain areas. The respective governments are caught off-guard and seek assistance from the Western allies. Tehran issues vocal warnings against an external interference reinforced by a nuclear test at the desert site in eastern Iran and multiple ballistic missile launches. The awareness of existence of a deliverable nuclear arsenal of Iran, coupled with the obvious display of its determinations, paralyzes the decision-making processes, sharply exacerbates trans-Atlantic rift, freezes any military response options and eventually leads to inaction. Iran gains control over the mentioned territories via its Islamist Shiite proxies; the region is in disarray, the global energy market destabilized, and the naval base of the U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain is ceased to exist.

Unconventional Application Track 2: Chemical Option

The IRI chemical warfare capability is opaque. Politically, Tehran exploits victimization track, referring to its suffering from the chemical weapon during war with Iraq as a moral obstacle to pursue such a capability. Moreover, Iran is a signatory of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Despite of the fact that some international reports indicated that Iran experiments with chemical agents and even develops initial production capabilities of the mustard gas, hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, sarin and tabun, there is a tacit agreement to consider Iran as a state free of chemical weapons. Yet, there is another side of the issue. First, the victimization argument does not seem convincing from the standpoint of realpolitik executed by Iran. That means it could reverse the course 180 degree if needed. Second, Iran has an extensive petrochemical industry infrastructure that gives plenty of opportunities to maintain covert dual-use track chemical programs able to "fast weaponized" in need. Of the five agents mentioned the first three are essentially battlefield agents and have no logical feasibility to be coupled with the long-range BM. However, the nerve agents such as sarin and tabun are worth to be considered in the next virtual strategic scenario below.

Iran and Syria enter a strategic alliance aimed at the 'liberation' the Golan Heights (a minimum objective) and the destruction of Israel (an ultimate objective). In a D-day Iran delivers from its territory a massive long-range missile strike with chemical nerve agents warheads on the Israeli Air Force (IAF) bases, the Jericho-2 missile units' locations and reservists mobilization depots. The surprise missile attack is coordinated with the massive armor onslaught by the Syrian army on the Heights. The entire Israeli defense system is essentially based on the rapid mobilization of its reserve forces and air superiority; however, the unconventional missile strike creates havoc in the key points. The casualties, loss of control, need to decontaminate the exposed installations and hardware, and evacuate civilians, complicated by necessity to perform in the protective gear, heavily undermines mobilization deployment of the Israel Army and effectively pin down the IAF on its bases in the critical hours of Syrian offensive. Taking over the Heights, amid intensive international pressure on both sides to stop hostilities, Syria halts an advance and claims a unilateral cease-fire after achievement of its goals, thus diminishing justification reasons for a reprisal nuclear counter-attack by the survived Israeli assets. Whatever unrealistic a given scenario appears, especially keeping in mind the long shadow of the Israeli nuclear weapons, one should not disregard a mix of religious zeal, irrational motives or risk acceptance rationales from the Iranian side (mentioned in the next section) that may enable it to ignore the potential retaliation threat.

Drivers Behind the WMD-Missiles Nexus

The intention of to get the WMD capability is based on the Iranian perceptions of threats and sources of those threats. Since the Islamic revolution of 1979 and establishment of the current regime the IRI leadership clearly indicated the foes – the United States and Israel. An emerging WMD potential will be primarily oriented against both. There is a set of three possible explanations of the IRI quest for the nuclear weapons that is indivisible from its missile program.

Minimal Deterrence ('Shield'). This explanation might be based on the obsession of the IRI politico-military elite about the U.S. effort to changed regime by force. This notion is deeply enrooted into contemporary Iran's strategic culture. According to this hypothesis, the IRI seeks a minimal (defensive) nuclear deterrent potential vice the United States, and if not being attacked, will never use nukes first, being fully aware of the overwhelming response. By the same token, Iran would not strike Israel, since the nuclear explosions and radioactive fallout affect not only the Arab-Muslim population in Israel and Palestine, and perhaps, in the broader region.

Deterrence Plus ('Sword'). This explanation suggests, that feeling itself protected and emboldened by newly acquired nuclear capability and being driven by a mix of geopolitical and mega-religious motivations, the IRI would transform towards more aggressive posture and militarized behavior, proactively exerting pressure, and imposing its own influence in the Gulf, Iraq, Levant, the Caucasus and the Central Asia, notwithstanding the United States, West, Russia and Arabs security interests. The lack of a unified stand and political will from the latter would result in a situation when counter-deterrence efforts will prove ineffective and futile.

Irrational Modus Operandi ('Apocalypses Now'). This explanation is based on the assumption that at least part of the current IRI top leadership, influenced by the apocalyptic religious zeal of Shiite 12er Islam, does not answer characteristics of the rational actor's model. This suggestion is either hard to justify or deny, so the hypothesis has a right to exist. Whatever true, such factors as a non-transparent nature of the regime, its perplexed national command authority and decision-making system, misperceptions, miscalculations, gambling, risk acceptance, domestic political determents and even mentioned above doomsday motivations, all combined make the incoming IRI nuclear potential extremely hazardous for the global security and stability.


The following considerations should be kept in mind in relation to the IRI BM program. This program is inherently linked to the nuclear program and should be treated indivisibly from it. The program in question has relatively low conventional application utility and extremely high unconventional one. The ultimate goal of Iran is to get an operational nuclear weapon. At the same time, the missile program per se has already taken shape as the IRI's strategic asset and a political warfare force multiplier. By conducting repetitive missiles tests, supported by extensive media and propaganda coverage, Iran simultaneously tests the will and cohesion of the Western alliance, signaling its intentions to the world. The nature of reaction (or, perhaps, a lack of such) to its actions strengthens Tehran's perception of the strategic paralysis of the U.S. and soft stand of the EU. Equally, the missile factor has seriously affected the American-Russian relations through the BMD controversy, as well as negatively influences the Middle East regional dynamic. The threatening verbal posture of Iran towards Israel already has been in some way practically applied through the projection of the missile threat during the 2006 Israeli-Hizbollah war. Finally, it increases a domestic political capital of a radical wing of the regime that manipulates with the citizens' national pride sentiments.

Overall, the Iranian intentions–capabilities nuclear equilibrium steadily gains momentum – the former are stated and the latter are shaping. As for the ballistic missiles' program, it is a missing link that brings them together. At the moment Tehran detonates the first nuclear device at a test site, Iran will get both its shield and sword. To continue this medieval warfare terms hyperbola, if one gets a crossbow, the next logical step is to have bolts for it; otherwise, it is completely nonsense to have a crossbow. This is an explicit parallel with the true nature and the real ends behind the advancing ballistic missiles programs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
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