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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Feb 25th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Report: Israeli sources say Russia to supply new Iran air defenses
Report: Israeli sources say Russia to supply new Iran air defenses PDF Print E-mail
Written by Agencies   
Thursday, 24 July 2008


Greece Quietly Provides Israeli Air Force Pivotal Assistance on S-300 as Iran Nuke Strike Looms

Report: Israeli sources say Russia to supply new Iran air defenses 

By Reuters 

Iran is set to receive an advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft system by the year's end that could help fend off any preemptive strikes against its nuclear facilities, senior Israeli defense sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

The first delivery of the S-300 missile batteries was expected as soon as early September, one source said, though it could take six to 12 months for them to be deployed and operable - a possible reprieve for Israeli and American military planners.

Washington has led a diplomatic drive to deny Iran access to nuclear technologies with bomb-making potential, while hinting that force could be a last resort. Israel, whose warplanes have been training for long-range missions, has made similar threats.
But the allies appear to differ on when Iran, which denies seeking atomic arms, might get the S-300. The most sophisticated version of the system can track 100 targets at once and fire on planes 120 km (75 miles) away.

Iran, which already has TOR-M1 surface-to-air missiles from Russia, announced last December that an unspecified number of S-300s were on order. But Moscow denied there was any such deal.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has denied knowledge of the Russian delivery.

"Based on what I know, it's highly unlikely that those air defense missiles would be in Iranian hands any time soon," said Gates, responding in a July 9 briefing to a question about the S-300 - also known in the West as the SA-20.

Gates meant that Iran was a good number of months away from acquiring the system, a U.S. official said.

An Israeli defense official said Iran's contract with Russia required that the S-300s be delivered by the end of 2008. A second source said first units would arrive in early September.

The official agreed with the assessments of independent experts that the S-300 would compound the challenges that Iran - whose nuclear sites are numerous, distant, and fortified - would already pose for any future air strike campaign by Israel.

Israel does not have strategic "stealth" bombers like the United States, though the Israeli air force is believed to have developed its own radar-evading and jamming technologies.

"There's no doubt that the S-300s would make an air attack more difficult," said the official, who declined to be named.

"But there's an answer for every counter-measure, and as far as we're concerned, the sooner the Iranians get the new system, the more time we will have to inspect the deployments and tactical doctrines. There's a learning curve."

Israel, which is assumed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, reportedly carried out a large-scale air force drill over the Mediterranean last month which was widely seen as a "dress rehearsal" for a possible raid on Iran. Some analysts also described it as a bid to pressure the West to step up sanctions.

The exercise involved overflying parts of Greece, which is among a handful of countries to have bought and deployed S-300s. But Greek media quoted Athens officials as saying that the system's radars were "turned off" during the Israeli presence.

According to the Israeli official, it would take a year for Iran to deploy the S-300s and man them with trained operators.

Robert Hewson, editor of Jane's Air-Launched Weapons, said: "The minimum work-up time to be comfortable with the system is six months, but more time is preferable."

Hewson said the Iranian S-300 deal was being conducted via Belarus to afford discretion for Russia, which is already under Western scrutiny for helping Iran build a major atomic reactor.

"Belarus is the proxy route whenever Russia wants to deny it is doing the sale. But nothing happens along that route without Moscow saying so," he said.

Iran's Nukes Exclusive Back 

Greece Quietly Provides Israeli Air Force Pivotal Assistance on S-300 as Iran Nuke Strike Looms
Edwin Black July 14th 2008

Israeli war planes

Greece has quietly assisted the Israeli Air Force in a previously unreported fashion as the dreaded decision of a possible Israeli preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities draws closer, this reporter has learned.

A pivotal factor in Israel’s military strategy against Iran’s nuclear installations is the recent delivery to Iran of Russia’s potent S-300 Russian ground-to-air radar systems. Considered one of the world’s most versatile radar-missile systems, Russia’s S-300 batteries can simultaneous track hundreds of semi-stealth cruise missiles, long range missiles and aircraft, including airborne monitoring jets. As many as ten intruders can be simultaneously engaged by the S-300’s mobile interceptor missile batteries, military sources say. As such, the S-300 is a major threat to the long-range weapons in the Israeli arsenal. These include Israel’s long-range 1,500 km. nuclear-capable Jericho IIB missiles; unmanned missile-equipped long-range drones; Israel’s F-16s, F-15Es; long range heavy-payload F151s and F161s; and even its three new Gulfstream G550 business jets boasting a range of 6,750 nautical miles, newly outfitted with nuclear-tracking electronics and designed to loiter over or near Iranian skies for hours. The S-300 can compromise everything Israel has.

But Greece has the same Russian S-300 system.

Originally purchased by Cyprus in 1998, the Cypriot installation provoked a storm of protracted protests by Turkey because the system would make vulnerable all Turkish air movements. To resolve tensions and prevent a Turkish preemptive attack on the installations, the S-300 by international agreement was moved to Crete for safekeeping, and eventually joint-Cypriot-Greek control based on the 1993 mutual defense pact between Cyprus and Greece. On December 20, 2007, the move and installation of the S-300 was quietly completed.

In the last days of May and first week of June, 2008, Israel staged an impressive and well-reported exercise over Crete with the participation of the Greek air force. More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighter jets, as well as Israeli rescue helicopters and mid-air refueling planes flew a massive number of mock strikes. Israeli planes reportedly never landed but were continuously refueled from airborne platforms. Israel demonstrated that a 1400 km distance could be negotiated with Israeli aircraft remaining aloft and effective. Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility is 1400 km from Israel.

While the Israeli-Greek air tactics were amply reported in the world’s media after initial reports in the New York Times, the pivotal information from Greece’s S-300 batteries has remained below the radar. By swarming its jets into the S-300’s massive electronics, Israel was able to record invaluable information about defeating, jamming and circumventing the Russian system.

Israel dubbed its exercise “Glorious Spartan.” It is recalled that 300 glorious Spartans went down in history by forestalling the massive Persian army at a tiny land passage at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. The tiny Jewish State is now contemplating whether it must act unilaterally to forestall Iran’s nuclear threat.

Iranian officials complained bitterly to Athens after the exercise, but were told by Greek officials that their Russian-made radar-missile batteries were “turned off” during the exercise, according to Greek, Russian and Iranian sources. Those sources expressed incredulity that Greece would “turn off” its critical radar installations and air defense during such an exercise. Shortly after that exercise, Iran began signaling to European diplomats that Tehran might be willing to negotiate in earnest.

Iran’s S-300s are more updated than the Greek installation. Russian sources speculated that as many as five batteries were recently delivered to Iran, these having been pulled from active Russia defense units. The transaction is thought to be valued at $800 million, an easy sum for Iran whose economy is some 75 percent dependent upon oil revenues. The S-300 is integrated with Russia’s S-300PMU-2 “Favorit,” mobile missile batteries, codenamed by NATO “the Gargoyle.” Numerous Gargoyle batteries are part of the Russian arms deal with Iran, but several observers thought the batteries, although in Iran, were not yet operational.

For its part, Israel is leapfrogging its air superiority. It is in the process of acquiring the just unveiled F35B, a stealthy Joint Strike Fighter with Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) abilities. So new is the aircraft, its maiden flight was recorded only on June 11 at Lockheed Martin’s facility near Ft. Worth, Texas. The dull grey, stealthy and irregularly shaped F35B, known as “Lightning II,” would allow Israel to clandestinely preposition planes in unorthodox locations and land them closer to Iran, even in locations without runways. Featuring a swivel rear-exhaust nozzle, the state of the art fighter can switch from conventional to VTOL at the push of a button. The planes cost as much as $80 million per jet. Israel is trying to quickly purchase an entire squadron.

Israel is also actively seeking to finalize a purchase of America’s potent F-22 Raptor, a state of the art stealth fighter. Israel officials have stated they were willing to pay the $150 million per plane price tag in view of the Iranian threat.

Israel has demonstrated amply in the past that it can carry out precision operations thousands of miles from home. In 1976, in a Hollywood-style rescue, Israel flew a complicated air mission more than 2000 miles to Entebbe Airport in Uganda to rescue its hijacked citizens. In 1981, eight F-15s and eight F-16s, flew to Iraq for a precision strike permanently disabling Saddam Hussein’s Osirek nuclear reactor, after assassinations and sabotage of French reactor cores proved insufficient. Two F-15s circled above Saudi Arabia as a communications nexus with Tel Aviv.

In October, 1985, the Israeli Air Force executed yet another precision attack involving a 4800-km mission to Tunis where it destroyed Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters—seemingly beyond the reach of Israel.

In 2003, realizing it might have to one day face an Iranian nuclear threat, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon developed Project Daniel, with a “Long Arm” capability. Any strike by Israel against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would involve hundreds of sorties, lasting many hours and requiring ad hoc bomb damage assessment (BDA) as airplanes went back again and again to attack targets until successful. Because Natanz and other facilities are buried many feet below ground, multiple synchronized attacks with bunker busters would have to be mounted as delayed munitions burrow deeper and deeper into the crater left by the previous bomb impact. It might take up to 20 to 40 pairs of BLU-113 penetrating bombs each carrying more than 300 kg of high-explosive Tritonal warheads to destroy the Natanz underground halls housing centrifuges. Israel’s long-range, heavy-duty fighters can deliver these blows.

But if Israel attacks Iran, it will need to deliver those blows over and over again, in location after location, as well as neutralize the S-300 installations, mobile rockets, air defenses, a collection of North Korean-made Shahab3 missiles, and rescue its downed pilots.

Even if Israel is successful, the Jewish State expects a massive retaliation from Iran and its Hezbollah and Hamas proxies. Thousands of rockets are expected to be fired at Israeli cities within moments of the attack. Iran has already threatened the Strait of Hormuz, though which forty percent of the world’s seaborne oil traverses.

Israel considers itself in a no-win situation because years of sanctions and intense diplomacy have not stopped Iran’s cyclonic nuclear progress. Iran has consistently promised that Israel would “soon be wiped off the map.” More than one Israeli official has stated, the only thing worse than attacking Iran, is not attacking Iran.

Edwin Black is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of IBM and the Holocaust, and the forthcoming book, The Plan--How to Save America the Day after the Oil Stops— or Perhaps the Day Before (Dialog Press, September 2008).



Foreign media: Hizbullah trying to track IAF planes
Jul. 14, 2008

The Iranian and Syrian militaries have assisted Hizbullah in setting up advanced radar installations atop Mt. Sannine in Lebanon's Beka Valley which can be used to track Israeli planes from the Mediterranean Sea in the West to Damascus in the East, foreign news reports revealed on Monday.

According to a report in the Azerbaijan-based Trend News Agency, Iran and Syria recently completed installing radar stations on the mountain, which is in the center of Lebanon and reaches 2,600 meters above sea level.

Israeli defense analysts said that while Syria did not need radar installations inside Lebanon to track IAF fighter jets, the systems could be used by Hizbullah in the event that Damascus supplied them with advanced radar-based air defense systems. The IDF's working assumption is that Syria has provided Hizbullah with such systems, for example, the SA-18.

Defense officials could not confirm the report but said that they were aware of Hizbullah efforts to track Israeli aircraft in the event of another war.

The reports of Iranian assistance in setting up the radar installations came as Israel grows increasingly concerned about possible Iranian involvement in Hizbullah's decision-making process. Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are suspected of having direct involvement in training Hizbullah fighters.

Meanwhile on Monday, another foreign media outlet reported that the IAF exercise over Greece last month was conducted so Israeli fighter jets could study the Russian-made S-300 air-defense missile system, which is deployed on the island of Crete, and believed to be on the way to Iran.

The S-300 is one of the best multi-target anti-aircraft-missile systems in the world today and has a reported ability to track up to 100 targets simultaneously while engaging up to 12 at the same time. Iran is believed to have already procured several S-300 systems to protect its nuclear facilities although reports have differed as to whether the systems have already been supplied by Russia.

According to a report on The Cutting Edge News Web site, written by award-winning journalist Edwin Black, in December 2007 Greece installed the S-300 system in Crete following several years when it was stationed in Cyprus.

In the beginning of June, Israel reportedly flew 100 F-15 and F-16 fighter jets 1,400 kilometers into Greek airspace in what has been described as a "dress rehearsal" for an airstrike against Iranian nuclear installations.

According to The Cutting Edge, by flying within range of the Greek S-300, Israel was able to record invaluable information which could assist the IAF in developing means of jamming and defeating the advanced air-defense system.

Black wrote that Iran had filed a bitter protest in Athens following the Israeli exercise, but was told by Greek officials that the S-300 had been "turned off" during the exercise.

While Israeli defense sources said that it was not yet certain that S-300 systems had been delivered to Iran, The Cutting Edge cited Russian sources which speculated that as many as five batteries had recently arrived in Iran at the price of $800 million.

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1215330966276&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


Cypriot - Greece
S-300PMU-1 version



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