Tag Archives: Air Defense

Israel boosts navy with two guided missile destroyers from Germany

Big story from the Jerusalem Post.

Excerpt:

Germany has agreed to sell Israel two destroyers in exchange for one billion euros, AFP reported on Saturday, citing a report in German daily Bild.

According to the report, the torpedo-laden destroyers are intended to provide protection for Israel’s natural gas installations.

I suspect that the primary role of these vessels will be to intercept surface-to-surface missiles and air-to-surface missiles. Israel’s submarine force does not have this capability – they are primarily built for missile strike capability. Now why do you think that Israel is choosing to equip naval vessels with these capabilities? It’s to convey a clear message to her enemies: “even if you are able to strike our mainland and destroy our land-based missile defense system (Iron Dome) we will still have a naval-based air defense capability”.

This is a great deterrent against Israel’s enemies. It’s a second layer of defense to Israel’s Iron Dome system, which is tested and ready to shoot down incoming missiles. In addition to this missile-defense capability, these DDGs also offer surface-to-surface strike capability, but I can’t say what that would be without knowing what model they got. My suspicion is that they are older FFG Bremen class, which are being decommissioned and replaced by newer models. But they could also be FFG Brandenburg class, which are newer, but also scheduled for upgrades already. I wouldn’t call either of those “destroyers” though – they displace only about 3,600 tonnes each.

So could they be these 5,800 tonne vessels?

FFG Saschen class guided missile frigate
F124 Saschen class guided missile frigate (FFG)

Germany doesn’t have any real destroyers, although their new FFG Saschen class are as big as destroyers. If Israel somehow managed to get Saschen class FFGs, then I would really be thrilled and impressed. Those things are awesome and they excel at the air defense role. I noticed that the “file photos” being used in news releases were of FFG Saschen class vessels. But I just can’t believe that, it would be so awesome. That would explain why they are being called “destroyers” in the press stories. One can hope! If anyone knows, please tell me.

UPDATE: I did get some feedback through a friend of a friend who is an expert in missile defense, and here is his response:

Good for Israel. The article is mainly correct. I would say it is wrong on three points. One, Iron Dome will not assist in defending against TBMs or longer range missiles…Israel has other systems for that. Two, the DDGs are not meant to provide BMD if Iron Dome is destroyed. Sea based BMD can allow layered defense against ballistic missiles. Ballistic missiles require multiple interceptors to give a high probability of kill. Three, that being said, none of the Frigates mentioned possess a BMD cape. The Netherlands is working on a BMD cape for a ship they use that is similar to the Saschen class. The Dutch however, have a seafaring history and a navy that is more advanced than the Deutsch.

BMD means Ballistic Missile Defense, and TBM means Tactical Ballistic Missile.

And another SSK Dolphin submarine, too

And more good news from YNet News.

Excerpt:

Earlier this year, a significant deal between Germany and the Israeli security establishment was completed, as the Germans handed a fifth Dolphin-class submarine to Israel. The handover was marked in an official ceremony in Germany’s city of Kiel.

The vessel is considered one of the most advanced submarines in the world and is the most expensive war vessel the Defense Ministry has procured for the IDF. The diesel-powered submarines are widely regarded as an Israeli vanguard against foes like Iran. In total, Israel has purchased six Dolphin submarines from Germany.

There are two kinds of submarines that are used today: attack submarines, which are armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, and ballistic missile submarines, which are armed with heavier missiles that can travel further. Although the SSK Dolphin class is an attack submarine on paper, my suspicion is that Israel will refit them to have long-range missile strike capability, including nuclear guided missiles. And in fact after doing a search, I found an article that confirmed my hopes.

Take a look at this article from NTI, a global security think tank based in Washington.

Excerpt:

As previous conflicts involving Israel began with naval blockades, Israel views its submarine force as critical to national security. Israel’s submarines are also intended to exercise sea control over the Eastern Mediterranean and secure sea lines of communication; Israel is dependent on imports of grain, crude oil, and raw materials. [4] There has been consistent speculation that Israel’s submarines could be refitted to carry missiles armed with nuclear weapons in order for the country to maintain a survivable second-strike option. Acknowledging Israel’s lack of strategic depth, officials have asserted that only submarines can provide a secure weapons platform in the future. [5]

The arming of Israel’s submarines has received a great deal of attention. While HDW has stated that Israel’s Dolphin-class submarines were equipped with weapon systems similar to those installed on other diesel-electric submarines, various sources have alleged that upon their arrival in Israel, the submarines were modified, and fitted with cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads. [6] The three initial Dolphin-class submarines were designed in accordance with Israeli demands, and include a “wet and dry” compartment for special operations, as well as four 650mm torpedo tubes, which could be used for Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs). [7] The German Defense Ministry has stated that these larger tubes were intended to fire Harpoons; upon delivery to Israel, liners were to be fitted to decrease the diameter of the tubes to accommodate the 533mm Harpoon containers. However, the Dolphin-class is equipped with six 533mm torpedo tubes as well, which are capable of launching Harpoons. [8] It seems possible, therefore, that the 650mm tubes might have been designed to accommodate indigenously built, long-range SLCMs.The German government has stated that it does not have information on whether Israel installed different equipment on the submarines after delivery, although former German officials have acknowledged that they assumed that Israel intended to equip the submarines with nuclear weapons. [9]

Some reports suggest that Israel has adapted Harpoon cruise missiles, which have a range of 130 kilometers, to carry an indigenously developed nuclear warhead and guidance system, though other experts argue that such modifications to a Harpoon missile are not feasible. [10] Others believe that Israel has developed an indigenous cruise missile with a range of 320 kilometers that could be a version of Rafael Armament Development Authority’s Popeye turbo cruise missile. [11] Still others believe that the missile may be a version of the Gabriel 4LR produced by Israel Aircraft Industries, which could be launched in 533mm torpedo tubes similar to the Harpoon. [12] Such speculation was further fueled by an unconfirmed test of a nuclear-capable, submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) in the Indian Ocean in 2000. Some reports claimed targets 1,500 kilometers away were hit. [13] Such a range, however, implies an entirely new type of missile. [14] In June 2002, former State Department and Pentagon officials confirmed that the U.S. Navy observed Israeli missile tests in the Indian Ocean in 2000, and that the Dolphin-class vessels have been fitted with nuclear-capable cruise missiles of a new design. [15] However, the Israeli Defense Forces have consistently denied any such missile tests. [16]

[…]The new boats will be equipped with 650mm torpedo tubes—again leading to much speculation that the Israelis intend to outfit the submarines with nuclear-armed cruise missiles.

These submarines are designed to protect Israel’s supply lines in the Mediterranean Sea, and also to give them retaliation capabilities in the event of a large-scale missile strike. Iran and her allies will have a tough time detecting these submarines and destroying them – the subs have an extremely quiet propulsion system and can operate submerged for up to a week. These six submarines are a deterrent against any nation that would try to attack Israel, because they know that there is no hope for them to destroy all of their strike capability in the initial strike against Israel’s land-based assets. Israel could also depend on ground-based missile launchers,some of which might be mobile, and their airborne strike platform.

This is an application of the principal of peace through strength – the stronger a nation’s military, the less likely they are to be attacked, and the more capable they are of protecting their allies. The article above notes that the Clinton administration (Democrats) refused to sell Israel Tomahawk cruise missiles, which have a very long range. That’s too bad. If I were in charge, I would sell those to Israel in a split-second.

It really is a terrible thing for the United States to be disarming thanks to Democrat policies, because all this does is encourage our enemies to strike us, and encourage our allies to abandon our alliances and ally with stronger nations. I hope that we are able to elect a Republican soon who will restore our lost military strength.

Rachel Maddow doesn’t understand modern military weapon systems

Rachel Maddow doesn’t think that you can shoot down incoming missiles with missiles. I am NOT KIDDING.

Watch this if you like: (warning – has really vulgar language, because they are liberals)

Or read the transcript: (H/T Newsbusters)

STEVE MOORE, WALL STREET JOURNAL: The other tragedy, David, of what’s happened in the last 20 years is the reason Reykjavik fell apart was because Reagan didn’t want to give up SDI or Star Wars. And here we are, you know, what 20 years later and we still don’t have a missile defense system in this country.

DAVID STOCKMAN: We shouldn’t.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: They’ve never worked.

MOORE: I don’t want to get blown up.

MADDOW: You know what? Here’s the country, here’s the kind of thing you put over like a cake to protect the cake from flies. Missiles don’t work that way. That’s the whole idea of SDI. We’ll protect ourselves by shooting missiles at other missiles. It’s never worked in a test. We spent billions on it.

MOORE: It’s worked.

MADDOW: And anybody who understands this knows it can never work.

MOORE: If you don’t think it works, then why did the Russians not want us to do it?

MADDOW: The Russians were very happy to sign this thing.

MOORE: No they weren’t. They didn’t want us to do SDI because they knew they didn’t want us to blow up their missiles.

MADDOW: You know what? If you think you can shoot the bullet with the other bullet, you can have an awesome life in Annie Oakley’s side show, but you should not be in charge of billions of dollars of the defense budget. It’s such a hysterical fantasy. I love it.

Newsbusters writes:

It appears Maddow must have been out of the country during Desert Storm when Patriot missiles were used to take out Iraqi Scud missiles aimed at Israel and Saudi Arabia. Although their success rate was a great source of debate at the time (see the July 1996 Center for Defense Information study), no one disputes that some Scuds were indeed shot out of the air.

More importantly, at least twelve countries are currently using Patriot technology as part of their missile defense programs.

Even Japan has missile defense technology:

And India can do it, too.

You can shoot down incoming ballistic missiles from mobile launchers, fixed launchers and naval launchers. In fact, even fighters can intercept incoming ballistic missiles.

In military simulations, I’ve scrambled my F-14 Tomcat CAP to intercept vampires fired at my carrier battle group. (My CAP usually consists of 1 E-2C Hawkeye and 4 F-14D Tomcats because I really like the range on the AIM-54C Phoenix AAM).

Ships will regularly shoot down incoming SSMs. In fact, that is the whole point of the AEGIS missile defense system that is deployed on CG Ticonderoga and DDG Arleigh Burke vessels.

IN FACT, in simulations I have actually shot down vampires using this Phalanx close-in weapon system made by Raytheon. That thing is just a big machine gun used for point defense if all other missile defense systems fail.

Should we really have Democrats like Rachel Maddow in charge of national defense?

UPDATE: Here are a couple more examples I found:

Related posts

How well is Democrat appeasement working to contain Russia?

Not well, according to the Heritage Foundation.

Excerpt:

On Wednesday, Gen. Alexander Zelin, the commander of the Russian Air Force, announced that Moscow had deployed a state-of-the-art S-300 (SA-20 Favorit) long- range air defense system in Abkhazia, a region of the Republic of Georgia that Russia has occupied since the August 2008 war.

Since then, Russia recognized breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent republics. According to Zelin, the task of the air defense systems is “to prevent violation of Abkhaz and South Ossetian airspace and to destroy any aircraft intruding into their airspace no matter what their purpose might be”.

However, there is much more than the defense of Abkhazia to the Russian deployment. Taken together with the S-300 base in Armenia, it extends the strategic air space over South Caucasus and over parts of the Black Sea, furthering Russian control.

What does it mean?

Most importantly from the perspective of the United States, Russian actions are aimed at denying the United Space airspace and over-flight options. The surveillance aspect is no less important—depending on the actual deployment of the air defenses: associated radars will be able to picture or “paint” much of western Georgia and the adjoining Black Sea coastline. The ultimate objective for Moscow is to become an uncontested hegemon in the South Caucasus. And of course this has potential implications in case of an Iranian contingency.

The Russians are committed to deployments in the Caucasus that lead to the strategic denial of U.S. power projection in that region. This bears on the U.S.’s future ability to resupply Afghanistan; to use power to disarm a nuclear Iran; to ensure energy supply from the Caspian; and to help pro-Western friends and allies. These are hardly great accomplishments for the Obama “reset” policy”.

So what else is in the news?

Well, the Taliban are seizing control of nothern Afghanistan, and Russia is assisting Iran with nuclear weapons development.

And that is why the deployment of these advanced SAMs is devastating to our foreign policy objectives. We’ve become a paper tiger by cutting defense systems, like the F-22, so that we can pay for turtle tunnels to nowhere with “stimulus” money. The first job of the federal government is to protect its citizens, not to study how to reduce drinking among Chinese prostitutes.