Sunday, December 6, 2020

What An Iranian Strike On Israel Might Look Like

With tensions mounting in the Middle East between Israel and Iran, it would take very little to ignite the regional tinderbox. After the assassination of Iran's nuclear scientist, Fakhrizadeh, Iran has vowed retaliation. If this retaliation occurs it will likely be limited. What might set off an all out retaliation is an Israeli strike on the Iranian Natanz Nuclear Facility.

Natanz Nuclear Facility.

There are many site Israel would have to hit to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

Israel would likely use foreign nations, likely Gulf states, to launch an attack on Natanz. It would almost definitely use the stealth F-35 jet to accomplish this.

If this occurred it is highly likely Iran would launch an barrage of ballistic and cruise missiles on Israeli targets in retaliation. Israel's nuclear facilities, such as the Dimona reactor, and airbases would be its prime targets. The Emad ballistic missile would likely be used due to its 10 meter CEP and heavy warhead.

The Dimona Nuclear Reactor.

Dimona seen from the air.

The Emad missile that could accurately target and destroy the heavily armored reactor. It can carry a 750 kilogram warhead. It would likely be used due to its accuracy of within 10 meters. These missile were recently shown to be capable of rail launch from underground missile bases.

Further Israeli nuclear sites that could be targeted in an Iranian retaliation, This would effectively irradiate Israeli population centers if these site were hit.

Ramat David, Nevatim and Tel Nof are Israel's primary air bases. It is probable that Nevatim would be the key target for Iran as this base houses the F-35 fighter jets that would have been the catalyst for such a response in the first place. Emad and Shahab-3 missiles could target these air bases with multiple warheads as with the Shahab-3 or extreme accuracy with the Emad.

Nevatim Air Base.

Iran would likely target nuclear missile sites as well. Several air bases are believed to house Jericho missiles armed with nuclear warheads. Airbases like Sdot Micha and Palmachim house these missiles. Palmachim base house a nuclear test reactor that would likely be targeted by the Emad.

Palmachim Air Base.

Nuclear reactor to the East of Palmachim.

Jericho missile third stage.

The IDF has a massive fleet of F-15s and F-16s as well as attack and utility helicopters. These would likely be struck by an Iranian missile attack, however the prime target would be the F-35s and nuclear facilities. Iran would likely use several key ballistic and cruise missiles to achieve this. Iran might employ the Shahab-3 and Khorramshahr ballistic missiles and the Soumar and Hoveyzeh cruise missiles. The Emad is probably the best ballistic missile for the job, however.

The Emad has a range of 2,000-2,500 kilometers and a warhead of 750 kilograms. It can detonate in the air above a target or hit the target with extremes precision. It has a CEP of 10 meters, so anything it hits would be destroyed. This missile could be used to destroy hardened aircraft shelters and nuclear sites in Israel.

The Shahab-3 has a range of 1,000-2,000 kilometers and a warhead size of 1,200 kilograms or 2,600 pounds. It has the option to carry several smaller warheads. Individual cluster warheads weight 600 pounds and can target individual objectives. Cluster warheads would be ideally used to target airbases, as these sprawling complexes would be difficult to saturate with individual missiles. About 50 Shahab-3 mobile launchers existed in 2017.

The Shahab-3.

The Khorramshahr missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers with an 1,800 kilogram warhead, or almost 4,000 pounds. It is based on the North Korean Hwasong-10. This missile could likely be used to crack the heavily armored Dimona Nuclear Reactor and larger hardened aircraft shelters, though it is not as accurate as the Emad missile.

The Soumar cruise missile is highly capable as cruise missiles are almost impossible to intercept. It is based on the Russian Kh-55. Cruise missiles would likely target aircraft shelters and areas on the tarmac where aircraft are known to rest. This information is easily obtained even by civilian satellite imagery.

The Hoveyzeh is an improved version of the Soumar with a range of at least 1,300 kilometers. It too would most likely be used to attack air bases. It has an accuracy of one meter.

Potential targets at airbases throughout Israel include aircraft exposed on the tarmac and aircraft shelters.


Uh-60 black hawks.

Aircraft shelters. These are not well armored as they are in Southern Israel.

Hardened aircraft shelters at Tel Nof, Northern Israel.

If Iran went all out and hypothetically launched a few hundred of these missiles at Israel, it is quite possible the Dimona nuclear reactor would be destroyed and the surroundings irradiated as well as the Israeli Air Force being severely crippled. If Iran went all out, it might recover Uranium 235 from the rubble of its Natanz facility and load it onto cruise missile to strike Israeli cities with "dirty bombs" containing highly radioactive material.

I don't endorse any of this, it is simply a possibility if the two nations were to start a war with each other. Iran would likely suffer severe consequences after a large scale attack on Israel. It is possible that the US and NATO would launch an invasion into Iran in the aftermath. Israel might even consider launching nuclear missiles on Iran. However, if Iran maintained a deterrent factor this may not happen. Iran might threaten a larger missile barrage if it was invaded, for example.

If Israel were to use nuclear missiles on Iran in the aftermath of this hypothetical attack, it would lose all international support except for the USA. In conclusion, Israel is backed into a corner when it comes to Iran. Israel won't strike the Natanz facility because it knows there would be a strong response. Iran may indeed obtain nuclear weapons, especially after the assassination of its lead scientist galvanizing the Iranian hardliners. If that happens Israel will be at Iran's mercy. Israel's actions to stop a nuclear weapon may actually have had the opposite effect.

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