Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Welcome to visitors from the Persian Gulf region

Since late yesterday evening I've been a bit taken aback to find dozens of new visitors to this blog originating from Middle Eastern ISP's. By now they must total a couple of hundred. All of them were looking at the article I posted a few weeks ago about Israel's Harpy and Harop anti-radar drones - and all had reached it via Internet search engines.

Clearly, something had happened to spark sudden and very intense interest in these weapons. Intrigued, I did a search of my own to find out what was going on. I found this article on an Iranian news Web site.

Israel is developing a loitering drone capable of tracking elusive ground targets amid reports that Iran is seeking an anti-aircraft system.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is reportedly developing a killer drone, known as Harop, which can be used against "anti-aircraft systems and mobile or concealed ballistic missile launchers".

. . .

Harop, which is deployed as a "fire and forget" weapon, is designed to travel over 1,000 kilometers to patrol an assigned area and attack any hostile radar activated in its vicinity.

The development comes at a time when the Israeli military is making preliminary preparations for launching a war against Iran to take out the country's nuclear infrastructure -- according to its annual work plan for 2009.

Despite Western doubts over the success of any military plan against Iran, Israel -- which terms the country as an "existential threat" -- has repeatedly threatened to take out Iranian nuclear infrastructure through aerial strikes.

. . .

While casting doubt over the possibility of an imminent Israeli attack, Iran has moved to enhance its defensive capabilities against aerial strikes through acquiring a sophisticated Russian-built anti-aircraft missile system, S-300.

The S-300, dubbed as the "game-changer", is feared by US and Israeli weapons experts as an element that can effectively rule out a successful attack against Iran.

. . .

Harop, an advanced version of the Harpy killer drone, has been optimized to operate against enemy radars and surface-to-air missiles.

The radar killer drone is also capable of detecting suspected ballistic missile sites, where it would target missile silos and shelters as they are opened before firing.

With Israeli war threats running hot and cold, Tehran has long been eying the S-300 defense system to ensure the safety of its nuclear infrastructure against a potential Israeli strike.

Tel Aviv, however, expects to surprise Iranian military officials with the loitering weapon as it can target the radar-equipped S-300 before it enters attack mode.

It looks as if that report has gained wide circulation in Iran and surrounding nations, and interested parties in those countries are scurrying to find out more about Harop.

To all of you, thanks for visiting this blog, and I hope you find it interesting. I also hope and pray, as do all people of goodwill, that no situation will arise that will necessitate the use of such weapons . . .



reflectoscope said...

The problem Iran faces (and this is admittedly one facet of a larger one) is that using a very expensive SA-10 (The NATO designation for the S-300 system) to kill a cheap Israeli drone is not only a waste of money, but it would give up the location of an even more expensive TEL and radar set.

The part of "Red Storm Rising" where the Russians are clinging to their hold on Iceland, and cannot give up the location of their last SAM battery by destroying the American drone which was spotting naval gunfire, might be an apt comparison.


Tim D said...

I don't know that we are looking at SA-10s. The Iranians may have gotten ahold of SA-20s which are an upgraded SA-300 system. (I had heard rumors of this about 3 years ago). These probably aren't a threat to the drones however Iran has the SA-15 which can handle drones easily.