Saddam Dusts off His Old Super Gun

Saddam’s super-cannon of pre-Gulf War fame is making a comeback. In its newly adapted form, the fabled monster gun is designed to fire nuclear, chemical and biological shells at US military targets in the Gulf, Middle East, Red Sea and Mediterranean, as well as targeting Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey and Israel. This was revealed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly in its last week’s issue.
In its original form, the gun was capable of firing a warhead at Tehran or Tel Aviv, having a range of 1,500 miles – or more, if boosted by a rocket.
In 1985, in the closing days of the Iraq-Iran War, Saddam hired the super gun’s inventor, Canadian astrophysicist Gerald Bull, arguably the most prominent scientist of the day in the missile and artillery field, to construct a 424 mm cannon that could fire quarter-ton shells more than 1,700 miles.
Bull was murdered in Brussels in 1990. Newspaper reports claimed Israel’s Mossad killed him to foil the super gun project. Another theory said he fell victim to Iraqi intelligence assassins because of Saddam’s suspicion that he was cooperating with Israel through South African contacts. The real story is still unknown. After Bull’s death, Iraq was left with the scientist’s plans but without the manpower or technical know-how to complete the project.
But Saddam never gave up his grandiose plans for the super gun. One was to blast into orbit the military satellites he was building just before the 1991 Gulf War. In 1992 and 1995, experiments were made to launch spacecraft that would collide with enemy satellites making surveillance passes over Iraqi territory. On impact, the spacecraft would explode and spray the satellites with an adhesive substance that would put their cameras and surveillance equipment out of action.
Touting his super gun, Saddam once boasted a missile could be launched only once but a cannon could be used repeatedly to fire projectiles.
US and Israeli intelligence were taken aback to discover that not one, but three or four super guns, have just turned up in Iraq’s arsenal – advanced and more effective versions of Bull’s invention. It comes in two models, both hidden in the underground city Iraq has build as a hideaway for its government, top officials and strategic utilities in case of war.
The largest has a 1,000 mm diameter barrel, 260 meters (248 yards) long and a maximum range of 2,000 miles. The barrel of the smaller version is 350 mm in diameter and 30 meters (32 yard) long. Its range is up to 250 miles. They were dismantled and concealed in segments – the barrel of the biggest super gun is made up of 35 separate pipes – and only spotted by US and Israeli satellites after they were assembled.
Since most intelligence experts concede Iraq has been capable of building radiological weapons since 1991, its super guns – which can deliver a nuclear payload over great distances – will be one of the first goals of a potential US-led strike againstIraq. Killing the super gun could be the boldest move inWashington’s global war against terrorism.

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