debkafile’s Military Sources: The spectacular swarm of sophisticated missiles fired in Iran’s surprise military exercise stuns military planners in
Our sources reveal that scores of surface missiles – a record for any war games anywhere – were tested simultaneously at a desert testing site some two hours drive from Tehran Thursday, Nov. 2. Precisely planned, the testing went smoothly. Input has not yet come in about the accuracy of their targeting.
A senior American missile expert told debkafile that the Iranians demonstrated up-to-date missile-launching technology which the West had not known them to possess. They also displayed unfamiliar warheads. But their most startling feat was the successful first test-fire of the long-range Shehab-3 with its cluster of tens of small bomblets, as debkafile revealed Oct. 31. The entire range bore the imprint of new purchases from China.
This Shehab-3, whose 2,000-km range brings Israel, the Middle East and Europe within reach – may be more than a match for any anti-missile missile system in American, Israeli or European arsenals – depending critically on the point of its fragmentation. Some of its features are still an enigma in the West.
If the Shehab-3’s cluster separates close to target, the Israel-US Arrow has a chance to intercept it, but the Americans and Israelis have no defense against the multiple warhead if it separates at a distance.
Another point made by debkafile‘s sources is that the spectacular missile show may have been designed for European consumption as much as to impress the US and Israel. Rather than making a secret of the display, General Rahim Safavi, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, which staged the exercise, bragged that Iran had proved its ability to strike targets outside the Middle East. Europe, which Tehran sees as susceptible to such threats, was being warned that it would be first in line for a backlash from a US or Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Iran announced its war game Wednesday night, Nov. 1, in response to the to the US-led naval movements and buildup in the in the Red Sea (see separate item).
Some of the other missiles tested in the exercise were the Shehab-2, Aolfaqar-73, Fateh-110, Scud B and Zelzal-2.