Monday, April 15, 2024

An Israeli newspaper summed up the Iranian "Operation Truthful Promise" as "The Iranian lion roared like a cat."

As we get more information, we learn that the attack was in most ways larger than anything Russia has mounted against Ukraine. 

The extent of the attack was one of the largest seen in modern warfare. Russia's opening "shock and awe" barrage on the first day of the invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, included between 160 and 200 cruise missiles and ballistic missiles - against a country more than 20 times the area of Israel.

Russia first used Iranian-made Shahad drones in conjunction with a missile attack on October 10, 2022, a barrage aimed at Ukraine's infrastructure,. This  included a total of 84 missiles and 24 UAVs. Only about half of the Russian missiles were intercepted. 
This compares to 185 drones, 110 ballistic missiles and 30 cruise missiles launched by Iran towards Israel.

Iranian media is claiming a "clean victory," saying that their ballistic missiles landed exactly where they were intended.

So that means they wanted to create an easily repairable crater on a runway in the desert and on a road.

The attack shows that the ballistic missiles are the most difficult to defend against, since several made it through.  That doesn't detract from the amazing achievements of blocking them. The videos of missile intercepts in space, probably from an Arrow-3, are spectacular:

A surprising number of Iranian missiles failed, either exploding in Iran or en route.
Iran’s missile technology is to a great extent based on Soviet and North Korean know-how.

U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal that half of the ballistic missiles that Iran launched either failed to launch or fell from the sky before reaching their targets.
Here's video of one that landed in Iran, this single missile causing more damage there than all the projectiles did in Israel combined:

As the Institute for the Study of War notes, however, Israel cannot afford to be complacent. The claimed "99%" intercept rate is somewhat exaggerated - it was probably closer to 97% or 98% - and the several that did make it through could have caused great damage had they hit populated areas:

Iran’s ability to penetrate Israeli air defenses with even a small number of large ballistic missiles presents serious security concerns for Israel. The only Iranian missiles that got through hit an Israeli military base, limiting the damage, but a future strike in which several ballistic missiles penetrate Israeli air defenses and hit Tel Aviv or Haifa could cause significant civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure, including ports and energy. Russian strikes on Ukraine have demonstrated that even a small number of precise strikes against key nodes in energy or other infrastructure can cause disproportionate effects. Israel and its partners should not emerge from this successful defense with any sense of complacency.
In 2022 Iran announced, to much fanfare, that it had manufactured hypersonic missiles than could not be stopped by known interceptors. They also claimed to have upgraded those missiles last year.  Iran is now claiming that every hypersonic missile it shot at Israel successfully hit their targets. 

It is unclear whether any of the missiles launched were indeed what would be considered hypersonic - meaning, traveling at greater than Mach-5 speeds while maintaining maneuverability. Regular ballistic missiles hit hypersonic speeds as they descend from space but that does not make them hypersonic missiles, which are usually defined as either hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) and hypersonic cruise missiles (HCMs). Iran's so-called hypersonic missiles are medium range ballistic missiles with limited maneuverability. It is not clear at this time whether any of the missiles that made it through were the Fattah-1 or Fattah 2 "hypersonic" missiles of Iran. 

What is clear is that Israel would not be able to rely on allies being able to help them stop all future similar attacks, especially without so much advanced warning. The simple math of being able to overwhelm Israeli defenses, which are much more expensive than the projectiles being shot are, remains an issue as it does in Gaza or Lebanon. 

Saying that Israel should regard this as a victory is short-sighted. As others have pointed out, surviving someone shooting at you many times because of your bulletproof vest is not a victory. The shooter can reload and only needs one bullet to make it through. Israel cannot afford to remain in a purely defensive posture forever, especially as Iran has proven that it is now willing to directly attack Israel.

The question is not if, but when. 

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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