News directly related to the coming Second Signpost has been sparse over the last few weeks. True, there is the possible trigger in Syria with the Turks and Saudis possibly getting involved, but news involving Iran directly has been low key.
Since it has been relatively quiet some reporters have had to resort to making up stories. (What? March 10th has come and gone and no invasion of Syria by 350,000?)
Well, the regime in Iran has not disappointed this week. Almost as if to keep us on our toes Iran conducted a rocket test launching two missiles, on March 9. Here is a video. (Note in time 0:04-0:05, two men running away from the bunker. It gives one a sense of scale. Those rockets are 60 feet tall.)
Those rockets were modified from their QADR-1 (GHADR-1) design. According to this story, one was a QADR-F with a 2,000 km range capable of reaching Israel, and the other was a QADR-H with a 1,700 km range.
Large intermediate range rockets like these will likely be used during the first day of the Second Signpost. We don’t know if they will actually carry a nuclear warhead or a conventional one. We don’t know if they would actually attack Israel or use them to soften targets in and around the Middle East, but I would bet that it is likely these rockets will be used strategically.
They can carry one ton of explosives anywhere within a 2,000 km (1,200 mile) radius and deliver it with great speed. This story from Al-Jazeera reports that a single one ton conventional bomb is equal in destructive force to the missiles and bombs dropped in a single F-15 sortie. I had suspected Iran was relying on rockets over modern aircraft since its regular air force is far behind in modernization to that of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. But now we seem to have some data: 100 QADR rockets is equal to 25 F-15’s running four sorties each.
And Iran may have hundreds of those rockets. Iran’s military capabilities continue to grow.
Categories: In The News, Signpost #2: Iran
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