April 5, 2006
Big Lizards' Iranian Skepticism Confirmed!
A couple of days ago, in I'll Believe It When I Believe It, we were very skeptical about Iran's claims of a whole series of "super new weapons" (now expanded to include an invisible "flying boat" -- hmm... could that refer to a hovercraft, you think? Like the one Sachi and I took to cross the English Channel ten years ago? Or maybe just a low-flying, ground-effect airplane?)
We're very please to see that ThreatsWatch now confirms our skepticism.
If you were wondering what that "Fajr-3 missile" was -- the one "which can avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads," as AP breathlessly quoted (quoting a general in Iran's Revolutionary Guards) -- it turns out it wasn't exactly what we thought. We wrote:
And this "supermissile" they're talking about sounds remarkably like a 1960s or 70s era cruise missile... either from Russia or France.
In fact, it was less than that. The Pentagon has determined that it was a Soviet Scud-C, developed in 1965. From ThreatsWatch:
Last week, it was noted that there was no word from NORAD nor the US Military in-theater of a ‘ballistic’ missile launch detection in Iran. Today, we get that word. The Pentagon is saying now that Iran tested an older version of the Scud missile family last week and not any new ICBM development. What was launched in last week’s much publicized Iranian media event was, in fact, a Shahab-2 with a range of 310 miles. The Shahab-2 is the Iranian designation for the Scud-C variant of the Russian design.
Oh, and that super-torpedo, the one that would make all defensive shipborne measures obsolete?
Here's what we wrote:
Let's try it another way: the most plausible explanation is that Russia has given Iran some older Shkvals, and the Iranians repainted them.
This has not yet been verified; but the claimed speed of the Iranian Hoot torpedo -- 223 mph -- is almost exactly the speed clocked by the Russian Shkval: 230 mph. This is far too close a match to be coincidence, especially as they both use the same boutique technique, supercaviation, to achieve those speeds... at the sacrifice of both range and maneuverability: they cannot be steered once fired, so their effective range is much less than the raw range of 7,000 m. The Soviets played around with them from the 1960s through the 90s but finally gave them up as relatively worthless in combat.
So we repeat our final point from last time:
If ever the elite media can stop quaking in their Birkenstocks, perhaps they can interview some American experts on Iran's missile force as to what these missiles likely are, where they came from, and whether we have techniques for dealing with them.
Unless, that is, such facts won't fit the story the media has already drafted.
We couldn't have said it better ourselves!
The "story" the antique media prefers is that America has met its match, bitten off more than it can chew, and is going to be humbled. The Third World powers are using asymmetrical warfare to stymie the great American imperialist warmongers, and that will show that darned President Bush! Anything that undercuts the story is a bigger threat than a Hoot missile and must be suppressed.
Don't look for AP to correct its mistakes; they never retract the really big ones.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 5, 2006, at the time of 6:20 AM
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The following hissed in response by: RBMN
The Iranians are either publicizing these "new" weapons for domestic propaganda purposes OR they're showing us what they have available to attack civilian American targets (e.g. American cruise ships or American oil tankers) with. They wouldn't kill many people sinking an oil tanker, but they can make us spend a lots of money cleaning it up.
The following hissed in response by: RMS
What gets me is either the AP's complicity in the Iranian propoganda or the complete lack of knowledge of military equipment. I still clearly remember an AP comparison of the Iraqi T-72 tank to the M1 Abrams before the first Gulf War. Anyone getting their information only from this story would have thought the Americans were hopelessly outmatched! The Soviet Union had a number of "flying boats" that where designed to go no higher than maybe 250 ft above the water so as to avoid radar. They were slow, but long ranged. Doppler radar made them completely obsolete. If the Iranian aircraft is basically the same thing (if not an old Soviet unit pulled out of mothballs) it would be a dead duck. The Iranians are not a threat to our military assets, but they can threaten, for a short time, civilian targets in the area.
The following hissed in response by: Master Shake
To a bunch of antique media types who are still living in the 60's, these are fearsome weapons indeed!
I just hope no one tells the media that Iran has horseless carriages.
The following hissed in response by: Papa Ray
While their military threat is a joke, their thousands of murder bombers stand ready to do their duty to their homeland.
This is the real threat that Iran has to the world (until they have their nukes mated to their missiles).
They have put out pictures and videos of these thousands of murder bombers, but the media evidently doesn't think its front page news.
I sure think it is.
The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist
Thank Karma that i am wrong once again!!!
i was starting to worry that Iran might actually be a threat...
The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist at April 5, 2006 4:45 PM
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
I linked from Quick hits.
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at April 6, 2006 1:24 AM
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