01. April 2006 · Comments Off on Iran Tests Stealth Missile · Categories: Iran

This from AP:

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran successfully test-fired a missile that can avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads, the military said Friday.

Gen. Hossein Salami, the air force chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards, did not specify the missile’s range, saying it depends on the weight of its warheads.

As I said before, the time to strike is now.

Update: (4:03PM PDT) This just in from Monsters and Critics:

Tehran – Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said Sunday that an underwater missile was successfully tested during a naval manoeuvre in the Persian Gulf, state news agency IRNA reported.

Deputy commander of the navy forces of the IRGC, General Ali Fadavi, said the missile could hit a target with a maximum speed of 100 metres per second.

No further details were disclosed.

The Russians already have this. I’ve been following this technology for a while. I’ll post more about it, and our countermeasures development, later.

Update 2: (9:10AM PDT 04/04/06) The Russian torpedo (which the Iranians most likely bought, rather than develop their own), is called the Shkval-E. They’ve been hocking these things since 2000. They have been in development since the late ’60s.

There are no (unclassified) countermeasures for this weapon. But I would think that, could we get a fix on one, a Phalanx gun might have some limited effectiveness against it, as it is made to also engage surface-skimming airborne missiles.

However, the Shkval has a rather short 7.5km range, and it would be difficult for an aggressor host vessel to get inside a CVBG’s defense perimeter. While considered very quiet, the Iranian’s five1 Russian-built Kilo class diesel/electric subs are considered easy prey for the US’s Los Angeles or Seawolf classes – to say nothing of the Virginia.

Even so, during the Falklands War, the Argentine San Luis, a German Type 209/1200 submarine, managed to elude 15 British frigates, as well as the antisubmarine forces of two small carriers. The San Luis maneuvered into torpedo range of the British fleet, and launched three torpedoes, although all three shots were unsuccessful. And, if Saddam Hussein had bought six modern diesel/electric subs, prior to invading Kuwait, “and positioned three of them on either side of the Strait of Hormuz, that would have complicated matters,” according to U.S. Vice Admiral James Williams. “One diesel sub can make a great difference to how you drive your ships.” But note that, even if only running it’s motors for station-keeping, a diesel/electric sub can’t remain below snorkel depth for very long.

Incidentally, our own counterpart to the Shkval, being developed through the Office of Naval Research, is called the High-Speed (Supercavitating) Undersea Weapon.

You all know about cavitation; it is the same process by which bubbles develop along the inner skin of a pot, just before it’s about to boil, and the froth which emerges in a ship’s propeller trail, despite the fact it’s totally underwater.

1) The most Iranian subs I can confirm currently are three Kilo class, Project 877EKM, purchased between 1992-97. This can be verified from The Illustrated Directory of Submarines of the World (2002) by David E. Miller (ISBN 1-84065-375-2). However, I have later, unconfirmed reports of one or two more subs (likely Kilo class, and perhaps of the quieter “Project 636“). The authoritative civilian reference here would, of course, be Jane’s. But it’s a subscription thing, and my local library can reference only as recently as 2003. Any help out there?

Comments closed.