Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News: Israel could strike Iran's nuclear facilities, but it won't be easy

Israeli F-15I

This is the Haaretz take on the New York times article that indicates an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be difficult. The Israeli version of the F-15E fighter-bomber is the F-15I. Israel has 25 of these jets that are capable of delivering the 5,000 lb. GBU-28.

The Guided Bomb Unit 28 (GBU-28) is a 5000-pound (2268 kg) laser-guided "bunker busting" bomb nicknamed "Deep Throat."

The Israeli Air Force could launch missiles to attack Iran, but Iran would certainly retaliate with its own missiles. The  Harretz article suggests that an Israeli attack would go on for hours. A lengthy attack would increase Israeli fatalities and also lose the element of surprise. 

The big Israeli delimiters are shortfalls in fighter-bombers and a limited aerail refuleing capability. 

Israel has many fighter aircraft, but the not the right mix of fighter bombers and refuelers that could ensure a successful outcome. 

The attack would undoubtedly kick of another regional middle eastern war that Israel started. 

Haaretz also stated 

. . .(T)he consensus is that while it would certainly would be a complex and difficult operation, it is well within the IAF's capabilities.

"The New York Times quotes military experts who claim that Israel will have to use at least a hundred warplanes in an Iranian operation, this probably a conservative estimate as in addition the main nuclear-enrichment installations, Israel will most likely seek also to take out research centers and long-range missile bases and factories. In addition, there will have to be strikes on anti-aircraft missile batteries and radar sites.
But this is exactly the mission the IAF has been equipping for over the last fifteen years. Between 1996 and 2009, Israel purchased, largely with U.S. Foreign Military financing, 125 advanced F-15s and F-16s, specially modified for carrying out long-range strategic attacks. In addition to these five front-line squadrons, the IAF fields another nine squadrons of older-model F-16s and F-15s. In all, Israel has around 350 fighter jets, a larger aerial combat force than countries of the likes of Britain and Germany."
source: Israel could strike Iran's nuclear facilities, but it won't be easy - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

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