Friday, April 21, 2006

A formidable foe

Reading this post at the News Blog, I was struck by how much more difficult (if that's possible) war with Iran could be as compared to our current situation in Iraq, especially in the naval arena. An excerpt:
So what do we know? Iran has likely acquired cruise missiles with speeds up to 3 times faster than current American anti-ship cruise missiles. The ones it has likely acquired from the Ukraine have a range of up to 3000 kilometers. It probably also has a number of shorter range supersonic cruise missiles (we can't be certain of exactly how many) to augment its inventory of slower Silkworm cruise missiles (the Silkworm is a Chinese variant of the French Exocet). And even these slower Silkworms can be very dangerous to our naval forces....

Imagine these cruise missiles being deployed in mass attacks against our ships in the Gulf, and against oil tanker traffic (the reason our ships would be in the Gulf in the first place). The chance of incidents much worse than the one that happened to the USS Stark [in 1987] becomes greatly magnified. Unless we know the location of these cruise missiles and can take them out before they are launched, our sailors will be at tremendous risk in the event of a shooting war with Iran.
The complete article goes into much more detail into how advanced the Iranian arsenal is and how they acquired these types of weapons. I was surprised at the suggestions that their arsenal might be more advanced than ours in this arena.

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