Fartashphoto's Blog

Closer to the Mayhem

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on June 15, 2010

Israel is stationing three of its five Dolphin class submarines in the Red Sea, and will keep one of them operating off the Iranian coast at all times. These subs will be armed with cruise missiles (equipped with nuclear warheads).

Last year, Israel has received two more German built Dolphin class submarines, giving it a total of five (the others were received 9-10 years ago). The older boats have since been upgraded to include larger fuel capacity, converting more torpedo tubes to the larger 650mm size, and installing new electronics. The fuel and torpedo tube mods appear to have something to do with stationing the subs off the coast of Iran. Larger torpedo tubes allow the subs to carry longer range missiles. The larger fuel capacity makes it easier to move Dolphins from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. Although Israel has a naval base on the Red Sea, Egypt had, until recently, had not allowed Israeli subs to use the Suez Canal. So the Dolphins were modified to go around Africa, if they had to. But now the Egyptians, who are also feuding with Iran, regularly allow Israeli subs to use the canal.

Larger fuel capacity also allows the subs to spend more time on station off the Iranian coast. Currently the Dolphins can stay at sea for about 40 days (moving at about 14 kilometers an hour, on the surface, for up to 8,000 kilometers). Larger fuel capacity extends range to over 10,000 kilometers, and endurance to about 50 days.

Israel equipped its new Dolphin class submarines with nuclear cruise missiles in 2002. Israel also fitted their 135 kilometer range Harpoon missiles with nuclear warheads. These missiles are fired from the sub’s torpedo tubes. The 1,625 ton Dolphins can carry 16 torpedoes or missiles and have ten forward torpedo tubes (four of them the larger 650mm -26 inches- size). The Dolphins are considered the most modern non-nuclear subs in the world.

The Israelis have developed a cruise missile, which is has a range of 1,500 kilometers and carries a 200 kiloton nuclear warhead.

Saudi Arabia will allow Israeli jets to use its airspace to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times of London reported last week.

The report cited a US defense source as saying the Saudis have already done tests to ensure no jet is shot down in the event of an Israeli attack. The source added that the US State Department is aware of the action and agrees with it.

According to the report, a Saudi government source confirmed that a blind eye would be turned to Israeli jets attacking Iran.

Seoul and Washington have confirmed that North Korea supplied Iran with submarines several years ago, showing that military exchanges between the two countries have reached a higher level, military sources said.

The exports were 130-ton Yono-class midget submarines, the same model as the one believed to have torpedoed the South Korean warship Cheonan near the disputed western sea border with North Korea, killing 46 sailors on March 26.

Iran and North Korea had initially cooperated in ballistic missile technology. They have expanded this cooperation to warships and uranium-enrichment technology in recent years, the sources said.

The U.S. government recently provided South Korea with several photos of a Yono-class submarine taken at an Iranian port around 2007, according to the sources.

Different sources said the South Korean and U.S. governments also confirmed around 2008 that Iran possessed a 120-ton Ghadir-class submarine, which looks almost identical to the Yono-class sub. The Russian Kilo Class submarines have also been exported to Iran, India and other countries. Iran has three Type 877EKM and India has ten Type 877EKM (Sindughosh Class).

North Korea’s military cooperation with Iran moved into high gear after Pyongyang began supplying a number of advanced short-range Scud-B missiles around 1987.

Funds from Iran helped North Korea develop the Nodong medium-range missiles. The Nodong technology was used to develop Iran’s Shahab missiles.

Iran has also provided North Korea with uranium-enrichment technology, according to the sources.

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