Friday, April 21, 2006

Iranians beefing up their Air Defense Assets...

Some great work by the OpFor officers in collating and analysing the latest on the Iranian ADA front. ( And yet another example of the perfidy of the Russians. I guess "Putie Putes" heart is not as chivalrous as the President thought it was back in 2001.. Russia will deliver air defense systems to Iran 19/04/2006 20:19 MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti) - The chief of the General Staff said Wednesday that Russia would honor its commitments on supplying military equipment to Iran. "We discussed supplies of military equipment to Iran, including the Tor M1, in the framework of bilateral cooperation, but it does not fall into the category of strategic weapons," Army General Yury Baluyevsky said after talks in Moscow with NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe General James Jones. "And I can assure you it will be delivered under the control of the relevant organizations," he said. t the end of 2005, Russia concluded a $700-million contract on the delivery of 29 Tor M1 air defense systems to Iran. The Tor-M1 is a fifth-generation integrated mobile air defense system designed for operation at medium, low and very low altitudes against fixed/rotary wing aircraft, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle), guided missiles and other high-precision weapons. Despite strong criticism from the United States, Russia has maintained that the systems could be used only to protect Iran's air space. The Tor M1 is also known as the SA-15 GAUNTLET. Here are some specs: The principal advantages of Tor-M1 is its ability to simultaneously destroy two targets in any weather or at any time of day and night; the use of both the powerful and jamming-resistant radar with electronic beam control and vertically launched missiles able to maintain high speed and manoeuvrability inside an entire engagement envelope; the high degree of automation of combat operation provided by the electronic equipment suite. Tor detects targets at a distance of 25 kilometers and kills them at a distance of 12 kilometers. In combating manned aviation, Tor is thrice and 1.5 times more efficient than foreign systems of the same class - France's Crotale and Britain's Rapier, respectively. Although it is an autonomous system it can be interfaced into an integrated air defense network. SA-15b is designed to be a completely autonomous air defense system (at division level), capable of surveillance, command and control, missile launch and guidance functions from a single vehicle. The basic combat formation is the firing battery consisting of four TLARs and the Rangir battery command post. The TLAR carries eight ready missiles stored in two containers holding four missiles each. The SA-15b has the capability to automatically track and destroy 2 targets simultaneously in any weather and at any time of the day. Effective range limits are from 1500 to 12000 m with target altitude limits being between 10 and 6000 m. The maximum maneuvering load factor limit on the weapon is 30g. The missile launcher consists of a box container extending down below the level of the hull top, holding two groups of four ready to fire missiles in the vertical position. Each missile is in a maintenance-free factory-sealed container-launcher box. The system is reloaded by a dedicated transportation/loader vehicle. The Tor is not amphibious although it is airportable. An NBC system is fitted as standard as is a built-in training system. The chassis of the vehicle is almost identical to that used for the 2S6 self-propelled hybrid air defense system and is based on the GM-569 tracked vehicle. The three man crew consists of the vehicle commander, system operator and vehicle driver, seated at the front of the vehicle with the large box-like unmanned turret in the center and the engine compartment at the rear. This arrangement is similar to that of the Kub (SA-6) and Shilka (ZSU-23-4) vehicles. The vehicle suspension consists of six dual rubber tired roadwheels with the idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear and three return rollers. According to, Iran’s air defenses consist of approximately 150 HAWK missile launchers, 50 SA-2, 50 SA-6, 10 SA-5 and 30 Rapier Systems. They also have 10 FM-80 systems, and many of the ADA systems can be deployed by coastal defense forces, as well as in fixed positions, and be used traditionally, to provide cover for large maneuver forces. The article did not specify if any accompanying Target Acquisition radar had been purchased from the Russians, but it is hard to imagine this equipment being transferred without trainers, material support, and spare parts/ammunition. According to old Russian doctrine, 29 SA-15 systems are roughly enough to fill out two air defense brigades which, theoretically, can provide effective air defense for two divisions of mechanized or armored troops. The systems can also be organized into two short range Air Defense Brigades, that in all likelihood, would be used to defend the nuclear-enrichment sites that Iran swears are for civilian purposes. This is bad news no matter how you slice it. Iran is beefing up its ADA capability, Russia is exporting its military expertise to anyone willing to pay for it, and the Persian Manhattan Project now has another ring of defenses. Not all is lost, though. Here’s some take-away analysis: Even with the addition of these ADA assets, Iran won’t be able to inflict serious harm to a US deep strike, and despite frequent military parades, probably lacks the tactical and operational expertise to deploy and maneuver units while effectively employing ADA assets. That being said, Iran is going to get some propaganda and psychological advantages by acquiring as many ADA assets as possible, by building a media template that Iran’s defenses are so impenetrable that the costs associated with a possible air strike would far outweigh the gains. Welcome (again) to 21st century warfare, where you don’t need to be proficient with your weapon system- or even field it effectively, to reap the benefits of its deterrent value. You gain the advantage by simply having the thing in the motor-pool if you bluster about your new ADA capabilities and let the media take it from there.

No comments: