Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Why Tehran is concerned over the IAF Syrian raid

I've noted before that Iran has the same Pantsyr S-1 radar (pictured at top left) that protects Syria and that apparently failed miserably in the September 6 IAF raid on a target in northeastern Syria. I've also noted that the failure has caused panic in Tehran. Former Spook reports that there's more to the panic than the identity of the radar system being used by the two countries. And it sounds like the problem isn't going to be easily fixed:
Iran's concerns are three-fold. First, there is logical speculation that the recent raid on Syria was a dress rehearsal for an attack on Iran's nuclear sites, although that raid would be larger and much more complex. Secondly, Tehran is footing the bill for Syria's most recent upgrade, the acquisition of the Pantsir-S1 air defense system. Iran is also slated to acquire the system, although initial deliveries were made to Damascus.

Equipped with two 30mm cannon and twelve Tunguska missiles, the Pantsir-S1 was supposed to provide point-defense for high-value targets--like that Syrian nuclear facility. The system's on-board radar can detect medium-altitude targets up to 30 miles away; the Pantsir's cannons are effective against targets up to 10,000 feet, and the missiles have a maximum range of roughly nine miles. In terms of close-in air defense, the Pantsir is supposed to be state-of-the-art, but it (apparently) proved ineffective against the Israeli raid.

Tehran's third concern? The Iranian air defense network is far more chaotic than its Syrian counterpart. In recent years, there have been credible reports about Iranian fighters sent out in pursuit of mystery lights and "UFOs," and near-fratricide incidents involving civilian airliners. If the Israelis were successful in blinding Syria's more centralized system (which covers a relatively small area), then they should have little problem in creating mass confusion within the Iranian network. Assuming that Israel eventually attacks, Iranian air defense crews could find themselves operating in a de-centralized mode, chasing targets that don't exist, and illuminating their radars with the knowledge that an anti-radar missile may be on the way.
Again, it sounds like any attack should come sooner rather than later.

Read it all.


Post a Comment

<< Home