[Updated] A possible blue print for an Israeli attack on Iran. Including special munitions, radar evading tech, ballistic missiles

Aug 16 2012 - 15 Comments
By Richard Clements

US Blogger Richard Silverstein has published details of a potentially leaked Israeli document that allegedly gives a clue on how the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) would launch an attack on Iranian targets.

According to Silverstein, who was also interviewed by the BBC on this “scoop”, it’s an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel’s war plans against Iran that he received by a high-level Israeli source who received it from an IDF officer.

Here’s the translation of the document Silverstein has published:

“The Israeli attack will open with a coordinated strike, including an unprecedented cyber-attack which will totally paralyze the Iranian regime and its ability to know what is happening within its borders.  The internet, telephones, radio and television, communications satellites, and fiber optic cables leading to and from critical installations—including underground missile bases at Khorramabad and Isfahan—will be taken out of action.  The electrical grid throughout Iran will be paralyzed and transformer stations will absorb severe damage from carbon fiber munitions which are finer than a human hair, causing electrical short circuits whose repair requires their complete removal.  This would be a Sisyphean task in light of cluster munitions which would be dropped, some time-delayed and some remote-activated through the use of a satellite signal.

A barrage of tens of ballistic missiles would be launched from Israel toward Iran.  300km ballistic missiles would be launched from Israeli submarines in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf.  The missiles would not be armed with unconventional warheads [WMD], but rather with high-explosive ordnance equipped with reinforced tips designed specially to penetrate hardened targets.

The missiles will strike their targets—some exploding above ground like those striking the nuclear reactor at Arak–which is intended to produce plutonium and tritium—and the nearby heavy water production facility; the nuclear fuel production facilities at Isfahan and facilities for enriching uranium-hexaflouride.  Others would explode under-ground, as at the Fordo facility.

A barrage of hundreds of cruise missiles will pound command and control systems, research and development facilities, and the residences of senior personnel in the nuclear and missile development apparatus.  Intelligence gathered over years will be utilized to completely decapitate Iran’s professional and command ranks in these fields.

After the first wave of attacks, which will be timed to the second, the “Blue and White” radar satellite, whose systems enable us to perform an evaluation of the level of damage done to the various targets, will pass over Iran.  Only after rapidly decrypting the satellite’s data, will the information be transferred directly to war planes making their way covertly toward Iran.  These IAF planes will be armed with electronic warfare gear previously unknown to the wider public, not even revealed to our U.S. ally.  This equipment will render Israeli aircraft invisible.  Those Israeli war planes which participate in the attack will damage a short-list of targets which require further assault.

Among the targets approved for attack—Shihab 3 and Sejil ballistic missile silos, storage tanks for chemical components of rocket fuel, industrial facilities for producing missile control systems, centrifuge production plants and more.”

The document certainly doesn’t read as a military document, indeed Silverstein argues that the document is to be used to persuade ministers who oppose an attack on Iran into agreeing to an attack.

On a military level the document raises some questions.

The carbon Fibre munitions mentioned in the document would suggest the use of BLU-114/B ‘Soft Bomb’ a sub munition similar to a cluster bomb where the ‘bomblets’ dispence clouds of ‘hair like’ carbon fibres which short circuit power stations. The delivery of such a weapon could prove risky, it would require an aircraft to fly over the target area which would mostly be heavily defended.

Unless Israel has developed a stand off weapon similar to the AGM-154A Joint Stand Off Weapon (JSOW)  capable to deliver the munition and provide the ability to keep aircraft out of harms way.

Another comment that stands out from the document is the comments regarding the 300km missiles launched from subs in the Persian Gulf being not armed with unconventional warheads. Is this an admission that Israel possesses weapon of mass destruction whether they are Nuclear, Chemical or Biological? Something that has never been confirmed, at least officially.

The final paragraph of the document mentions an unknown electronic warfare capability that renders IAF (Israeli Air Force) aircraft invisible. Unless Israel developed a radar jammer or ‘cloaking’ device for its aircraft it certainly looks like the document is talking about the SPJ-20 self protection system.

Eventually it appears that the alleged source of the document is actually a speculation post that originally appeared on an Israeli forum.

According to several sources (see also this blog’s comment thread) well over 90 percent of the document was previously published on Fresh forum.

Silverstein claims that the leaker also leaked the document to the forum even though no one seems to have ever claimed the document was a secret Israeli memo rather than pure speculation.

Based on the information contained in the memo and the lack of military consistency of the theory, it seems like the document is really nothing more than a nice speculation worth a message board.

Richard Clements for The Aviationist. Updated by David Cenciotti

Image credit Israeli Air Force

  • I’d have to agree with Richard, what serious millitary person would make such a series of statements, this has to be the work of marketing personal……. either that or a cunning plan to see how far this would bongo around in the media…

  • Andy

    The document is probably a fake simply because Israeli submarines don’t carry ballistic missiles. There’s also the small problem of how Israel gets the submarines to the Persian gulf. There are other inconsistencies too, but those might be due to a bad translation.

    • they aquired new subs form germany not too long ago, which can be equipped with missiles easily.
      you can bet your pension on it, thats the first thing they do.

      • Andy

        Those subs cannot carry “ballistic” missiles, which is what the report claims. Yes, they can carry “cruise” missiles which are tube-launched and completely different weapon-systems.

        That is only the most obvious problem with this “leaked” report which was pretty obviously done by an amateur with limited knowledge of war planning and weapon system capabilities.

        • D Law

          andy, you got it right.

  • itpastorn

    The document is completely fake. The original source is a forum post on a site called “Fresh”. The journalists at BBC didn’t do their fact checking. http://elderofziyon.blogspot.se/2012/08/the-hilarious-tale-of-dick-beeb-and.html

  • Der Zeitgeist

    From Israels perspective, all this hysteria right now is just perfect PsyOps. Freaking everyone out every few weeks or so, and then nothing happens. Desensitizing the Iranians until they no longer take indications of an actual attack seriously anymore…

  • Noha307

    I was skeptical of the ballistic missile claims as well. I knew Israel didn’t have any ballistic missile submarines. The question I have is: Can you “harden” a ballistic missile? Forget whether the above document is real or fake – is it possible to make a bunker busting ballistic missile? I wouldn’t think it likely, but then again China made a “carrier killer” ballistic missile, proving you can use them in unconventional ways.

    • Ano N. Ymous

      Of course you can make a bunker busting ballistic warhead. The math is the same as for airdropped bunker busters, except you get to use much higher drop altitudes – a SCUD trajectory peaks somewhere between 100km and 150km. Of course SCUD is too big to launch from a torpedo tube. The Dolphin’s have 650mm tubes, so the 120km range / 30-40km drop altitude of the RPK-7 / SS-N-16 should be the ballpark of what’s achievable with a reasonable warhead. Notice how a cruise missile of similar size can go a lot further.

  • Israel has been buying Dolphin Submarines from Germany since the 90’s. they have the combat radius to reach the Persian gulf and Back. While they do not carry Ballistic Missiles, they carry Tomahawk Style cruise missiles that launch from the torpedo tubes. Most of us who have seriously though of an Israeli strike on Iran Have concluded long ago that the opening rounds would be a cyber attack and a missile strike. Tactical missiles would be the most cost effective way to strike and mortally wound Iran.

  • Ano N. Ymous

    Horizontal launch (from a torpedo tube) does not preclude a ballistic trajectory. SUBROC, RPK-2 / SS-N-15 and RPK-7 / SS-N-16 are operationally deployed examples. (Even though SUBROC at least was never fired in anger. Which is good since it only ever had a nuclear warhead.)

    Here’s a link to a video of a RPK-2 launch from a surface ship:

  • tedvg

    Greetings. Somehow I’ve accidently landed on this site. i don’t know much about weaponry in detail. Wether or not the information supplied here about how Israel -might- attack Iran is to a large extent accurate (i’assume that it is) this will or already has frightened Iran, wich could lead Iran to initiate a preemptive nuclear strike on Israel, because that is the only “option” they might find feasible. Then all hell breaks loose. There is no other option than to Keep Talking (Stephen Hawking) No one would win here. It will bring apocalypse, nuclear holocaust. Other countries will get involved. No one will win. You don’t need much intelligence to come to this conclusion. In war, no one wins. This is even more so in this age with high tech weaponry. Why are humans so beautiful and horrible at the same time? It is so sad.

  • Tom Ee

    The best way for the Iranians to find out if these are true is to provoke Israel to make war with her.

  • Chuckles48

    Re. the Israeli subs, and missiles… There’s been a fair amount of info over the years that the Dolphin-class subs are equipped with an Israeli equivalent to the SLCM – tube launched cruise missiles. As to “how they get there”… they’re currently based at Haifa, but could easily use the Suez Canal to deploy into the Red Sea, and test deployments to Eilat naval base have taken place.

    As to Clements’ question about an Israeli JSOW equivalent… I gather he doesn’t know the background of the AGM-142 Have Nap, which is the Rafael Popeye under a different name. Rafael’s built an extensive series of BVR air-to-ground ordnance over the years. Delilah, for example, is a 250km range cruise missile that entered service in 1995, and has been certified for everything from fighter jets (F-16C/D) all the way down to UH-60 helos and a ground-launch setup.

  • Yanshuf

    As mentioned this blurb was published on a Hebrew language blog in Hebrew before Richard posted it.

    It was posted in the politics and military affairs section of the Israeli web site.

    Nobody on the Israeli -Hebrew blog took this as a serious document.
    Even the accurate English translation did not impress me.
    There was precisely one Hebrew spelling mistake on Richards version and one of the Israeli bloggers posted it and took credit for writing it.

    Imagine you were briefing the 9 people who would decide to go or no go.

    The information has a minuscule amount of information on which to base a decision.

    If it was a real document it would have been classified. But this document was not classified. Many of us could write a more convincing document.

    Israel was observed by the US Navy testing a sub launched cruise missile that’s range was approximately 1,500 kilometers. It is believed to be larger version of the Popoye cruise missile. Israel has received a total of 4 Dolphin class subs. Each sub has 4 of the larger tubes. If you take into account the subs are needed for second strike nuclear capabilities