Skip to comments.Rethinking the Strait of Hormuz
Posted on 05/21/2012 9:21:36 PM PDT by QT3.14
If hostilities break out over any disruption of traffic through this busy sea lane, the Navy had better look long and hard at Irans anti-access/area-denial capabilities.
In 2010, Dr. Shmuel Bar, director of studies at the Institute of Policy and Strategy in Herzliya, Israel, wrote the following:
(Excerpt) Read more at usni.org ...
We kicked their ass in 1988.
The Iranian Navy is no match for the United States Fifth Fleet.
That’s a lot of theory.
This time I wouldn't expect any Iranian surface combatants. Probably some small craft and maybe some merchant vessels sowing sea mines. The biggest threat will come in the form of the C-802 missile. A very small, easy to transport, easy to launch weapon. In the last Israeli campaign in Lebanon one of these missiles was launched at an Israeli corvette by the Hezbollah. It didn't sink the ship, but it did remove it from the conflict. All it takes is a flat bed truck and a bearing to launch on.
The key to success in a conflict like this won't be in countering this threat, but rather the political will to inflict enough pain on the Iranians. As soon as this kicks off we need to strike hard at the regime. Take out all their air force on the ground, mine their harbors, hit their barracks in an all out first three nights of the conflict. We should also hit them where it hurts, refined petroleum products. Their refining capacity is their soft under belly. Hit that and their storage facilities and the regime will crumble quickly.
Iran doesn’t have to have a big Navy to close the Straights of Hormuz. It’s a total asymmetric situation.
It wouldn’t be case of defending the Straights of Hormuz, it would be a reason (or excuse) to dismantle Iran.
There is no strategy, it’s either do nothing, or do everything type of situation.
If we completely take apart the entire country, then they have nothing to lose and have no reason to NOT shut down the straits.
That’s not how dismantling works. Dismantling means heavy damage to their infrastructure. Then, the question is ... are they even thinking about the straights?
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Actually, it’s not that hard to take Iran out of being a threat to the straights.
An Ex-Navy buddy explained how they war-gamed this YEARS ago.
Occupy the offshore islands and platforms with Marines, transport the present occupants back to the mainland, flatten the Bandar Abbas Naval Station, and blast anything that looks like a military target that gets within 200 miles of the Straights.
Put BIG guns and artillery detector radar on the islands to do the job, locally, and air farther out. A No-fly, no drive zone 200 miles out from the straights.
Even a Silkworm needs targeting. It doesn’t seek out targets on it’s own.
Each missile tube has a 7 cell VLS for a total of 154 TLAMs.
What are VSL and TLAM’s?
This we should do. But we should not occupy. Just drop lots of small arms to the oppressed and let them do their own house cleaning. If we occupy, the oppressed will turn on us.
VLS = Vertical Launching System
TLAM = Tomahawk Land Attack Missile
Impressive. Thanks, moonshot925.
And Welcome to Free Republic!
I can’t see us nuking Iran, not yet anyway.
Is it a dumb question to ask if these subs can be armed with heavy conventional explosives?
Yes. The first 4 Ohio class SSBNs were converted to SSGNs(Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Georgia). Each one carries 154 Tomahwak cruise missiles.
I cant see us nuking Iran, not yet anyway. Did you forget about the Yellow submarine? Well actually theyre green, 3 German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline. Israel has tested a nuclear-capable version of its medium-range Popeye Turbo cruise missile designed to deploy from the 650mm torpedo tubes in its Dolphin Class submarines. These Cruise missiles have a range of about 930 statute miles, it has a 200kg nuclear warhead, containing 6kg of plutonium. As Bobby Fischer would say, Checkmate!
A couple of things worth remembering. We never escalate very fast or beyond the minimum we think will be required to achieve the objective. So thinking we’re going to hit them hard from the outset is flawed, I believe. Two there’s not a lot of room to maneuver task forces in the conflicted battle box.
Are not the Straits of Hormuz a vital life link for Iran? Could they survive a closing of the Straits? Maybe we should pre-emptively close the Straits as part of a larger sanctions program??
The straight is less than 30 miles wide in many areas. A guy on top of a cell tower with a compass and walkie-talkie could provide pre-launch targeting info. Or he could be standing on one of the bluffs ..or on a roof top.
Get real, they’ve been building assets for this for 30 years.
Iranian anti-ship missiles:
-Ra’ad - Indigenously developed long-range anti-ship missile based on HY-2 Silkworm.
-Noor - upgraded copy of Chinese C-802.
-Tondar - upgraded copy of Chinese C-801. Similar to Noor but powered by solid rocket booster and range of 50 km.
-Thaqeb - Similar to Noor, modified for submarine launch.
-Nasr - Several versions based on TL-6 and C-705
-Kowsar 1/2/3 - Several versions based on Chinese C-701 TL-10 and C-704
-Fajre Darya- copy of Sea Killer II.
-Khalij Fars - Anti ship ballistic missile based on Fateh-110
-Qader - Iranian anti-ship cruise missile with a range over 200 km.
The other BIG difference between the Israeli Corvette and any of our ships is the anti-missile systems on board. Having USN in your handle, one would have thought it to also be a part of your response.
AFTER we manage to clear all the mines.
Don’t doubt for an instant that the Iranians have the means to mine the heck out of the Straights.
There are a lot of complex issues here which can't be gotten into.
But get out of your head the idea that Aegis and other ship systems automagically instantly destroys all missiles fired from all ranges.
Also there is a finite number of missiles, decoys, and Phalanx bursts, and you are not firing one missile for one kill.
“VLS = Vertical Launching System
TLAM = Tomahawk Land Attack Missile”
Thanks. Some of us are a little rusty.
One on one, you may have a point, but consider this will (should) be a joint resources action and the primary first wave to mimick Stormin’ Norman’s TACTICAL air assault cleansing of the effective range issue.
Command and control from high altitudes with the use of night capable Warthogs followed by Apaches with cover from a second wave of Warthogs. Like another poster mentioned, the Navy and Marines take the islands thus enabling the Apaches a forward base to refresh and reload.
Then add in the relatively new asset that can loiter and strike as needed over a long period of time, the drones.
I agree about the truck mobile missiles being the main threat. The problem I see is that even a regime collapse in Tehran might not stop the missile threat. Each launch team can be operationg on standing orders, to emerge from their hiding place on Day X after the shooting starts, and blast away at any shipping in range. In this way, dedicated Revolutionary Guards would determine when the shooting stopped, and they would be “bound for glory” on the 72-virgin express. Like the Japs on Guam and elsewhere for many years after WW2, these missile teams may have been ordered to fire their missiles on Day X (spreading missile launched out over many months) and nothing short of death might stop them from completing their mission.
In that case, it would take boots on the ground to ferret out all of the hidden anti-ship missile teams. I recall that in Desert Storm, the Iraqis were erecting, fueling and launching much larger SCUDs until the final days of the war. IOW, all of our satellites and surveillance platforms could not find or stop the SCUD threat. Much smaller solid-fuel anti-ship missiles would be that much harder to find, since they need only to roll out of a cave and fire.
It might not matter what the regime in Tehran thinks, if the anti-ship missile teams have standing orders as I mentioned above.
Mines are only effective when the people who placed them can replenish them and defend them of sorts. Like harass mine sweepers. If not, they’re just scanned, detected and removed 98% of the time. The other 2% is just going to be the cost of doing business because Iran isn’t going to be able to replenish them, nor defend them.
We used every asset possible to find and destroy the much larger, vertically fired, liquid-fueled SCUDs in Desert Storm, and it did not work. The Iraqis fired SCUDs on the last days of hte conflict. I think the AARs said that we never did find and destroy one single launchable SCUD. We hit dummies (tanker trucks, fake missiles etc) but never stopped one single SCUD.
It will be MUCH MUCH harder to intercept a small, solid-fuel truck-mobile anti-ship missile, in the couple of minutes it will take them to emerge from a cave and launch.
Do you really believe we can blanket 100s of miles of cliffs and canyons around the Hormuz with so many air assets that we can stop those anti-ship missiles?
Doing a full firststrike eradication of Iran solves all these silly problems. The mullahs gone, in a bad smell.
I was about to mention that one; a lot of people are unaware that:
1) We didn’t destroy a SINGLE Scud during the First Gulf War Scud Hunt. The video people remember was actually of a couple of unfortunate fuel trucks getting blown up. We did, however, slow down the Iraqi rate of fire because they had to move around and hide.
2) Patriot missiles probably did not successfully intercept (destroying the warhead) a SINGLE Scud during the First Gulf War, either.
Gotta find them first. And finding them with the hull of a destroyer is likely to be traumatic.
As for replenishment, asymmetrical warfare gives us an idea how. The Iranians will use civilian ships - fishing boats, freighters, tankers, etc. - to covertly replace the mines; thanks to the truly idiotic ROEs with which we tend to burden our armed forces, this will be hard to prevent.
They can defend their minefields with their anti-ship missiles, conventional subs and those speedboat things. The “Scud Hunts” of the first Gulf War show how hard it is to destroy these mobile missile launchers before they launch. And even the speedboats can be dangerous to a mine sweeper.
I am sure we can defeat these measures, but if we lose even a single destroyer, the Iranians are going have their “victory” no matter what we do to them. And, if they get first shot, we ARE going to lose something.
Thanks very much for the info, moonshot. Always grateful for the wealth of knowledge on FR.
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