26 July 2006

Launch Pad 1, or the Nation once known as Lebanon

Having heard of all of these missiles that Hezbollah is using, I decided to do a bit of looking and came up with a nice little graphic to show what is going on with the various missile capabilities:

Graphics Courtesy NGA (NIMA) from the University of Texas at Austin Middle East Map Collection. Much cropping and color work by me to get it to something I could manage!

The missile ranges I picked up from Globalsecurity.org's Iranian Missile page, for the known artillery missiles in the Iranian inventory.

The Zelzal-2 I placed on the border by the sea so one could get an idea of its capabilities, actual launch sites for all rockets are for demonstration purposes only and promises of no ships sunk to make this page! It may be possible to extend the range of this rocket somewhat, possibly by lowering the payload or doing some aerodynamic reworking of it. That, however, is unlikely. This is probably the 'surprise' rocket that Hezbollah keeps talking about, 'able to hit Tel Aviv' from anywhere'.

The Iran-130 family of rockets may be what we are seeing now, especially with respect to the constant attacks on Haifa. Positioned further south, this rocket could, indeed, reach Tel Aviv.

The C-802a cruise missile is put in for comparison's sake and demonstrating how far out to sea it can get to.

Each of these is worrying, in and of themselves, but are not the best that Iran has. To get those to Lebanon via Syria is a non-trivial task, unless it is broken down and then reconstructed in Syria. So the IRBM of Iran, the Shahab, is unlikely to be an immediate threat, but possibly a long range one if a solid hold in Lebanon can be secured. And *that* one is quite threatening, if it can be mass produced... something that Iran has yet to demonstrate as I could only find one test firing of this missile, and that information was released by Iran.

And now adding in the Iranian IRBM:

The Shahab range I got from the Missile Index, for finding all of the known missiles knocking around this planet of ours. Note that the green circle is the known range and has a projected 1,300 km maximum range. This missile is a Traveling (or Tilt) Erector Launcher (TEL) type missile, so takes a while to drive, get in place, erect and launch.

And that, to say the least, is sobering.

Iran is looking to turn Lebanon into Launch Pad 1 for its missiles and threaten the entire Eastern Mediterranean set of ports and shipping. That is what is at stake with this conflict.


bathmate said...

a nice posting for this site..
really a wonderful blog...


A Jacksonian said...

Bathmate - My thanks!