Re: Radar & Iraq...

Message posted by Magoo on April 23, 2002 at 0:43:23 PST:

Iraq mainly uses air defence systems of Russian origin with a few French designed systems as well. Indeed, the coalition was very happy with the way they destroyed the Iraqi IADS so early in Desert Storm because it was modelled closely upon that of the old Soviet Bloc.

It’ll be tougher next time as I’m sure 1991 taught the Iraqis many lessons. No doubt they’ve learned how to build better C3 and C4 systems by using buried fibre optics, by having secondary and tertiary backup sites, a greater ratio of modern to obsolete systems and by training smarter operators who know when to shut down and hold their fire.

The Iraqi air force is still pretty much non-existent, but it was never a real threat in 1991 either despite having some pretty impressive equipment at that time. Most of the good stuff that wasn’t shot down or destroyed on the ground was flown to Iran supposedly for safe haven, but was never returned! I think only one allied aircraft was lost to an enemy fighter.

The US now has about 40% fewer combat aircraft, 30% fewer transport aircraft (many of which are rapidly running out of airframe life), and two fewer aircraft carriers than it did in 1991. Despite the leap in technology with PGMs and stealth aircraft since then, it is going to be stretched to conduct an ongoing air campaign against Iraq whilst maintaining a viable homeland defence and operations in other ‘areas’.

The US army is smaller now too, however there has been a greater emphasis on Special Forces, which should thrive in an environment such as the deserts of Iraq. There are also many more pre-positioned weapons, equipment and stores at Diego Garcia and in Saudi Arabia, so the build up time should be much shorter than the 4-5 months it took in 1990/91.

Many observers feel that the real threat stopping us from having another go at Iraq is a political rather than military one. The US and UK would be pretty much alone next time, with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and most of the gulf states (except perhaps Kuwait and Oman) unlikely to support any such move. China, Russia and France are all likely to complain loudly as well. Canada, Australia, and maybe Italy are likely to be the only major allies to consider providing military as well as political support.

We live in interesting times…


In Reply to: Radar posted by SAM on April 22, 2002 at 21:50:16 PST:


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