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back to article US deploys robot submarine armada against Iranian mines

The US is deploying a fleet of robotic submarine mine clearers to the Middle East to counter threats by Iran that it will close off the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of world oil supplies travel. The Sea Fox submersibles, manufactured by German firm Atlas Electronik, come equipped with a TV camera and sonar and are …

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And another word for...

Fast attack boats is "Sitting ducks" to an airborne force that is just happy to shoot first and forget about the whole concept of asking questions. Mini subs are likely to be more of a problem but they aren't likely to need to blow many out of the water before the crews start to think twice.

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You got upped 3 for this?

You don't "man" mines.

They have less need of a crew than the robot subs.

You just put a stick of TNT in a pop bottle with a proximity fuse and make sure your own tankers are well out of the way.

If you want a bigger bang you recycle old oil drums. The problem with those is that they can be seen easily but at $sillysillies a pop you can soon win a war even if the USA blows them all up and you fail to even hit an hole in one.

No facepalm icon until we get a Thatcher cheesy grin icon.

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Re: And another word for...

"Fast attack boats is "Sitting ducks" to an airborne force that is just happy to shoot first and forget about the whole concept of asking questions." Mini subs are likely to be more of a problem but they aren't likely to need to blow many out of the water before the crews start to think twice.

Two problems with that:

1) The US Navy don't blaze away at anything within range, as a rule. After downing a civilian airliner in the region years ago they're rather more careful at identifying and warning targets *as much as possible*. Stating otherwise is simply wilful ignorance being levelled at highly train professionals. They're probably a lot better at their job than you or I will ever be at ours.

2) On the other hand, remember that a fast attack boat managed to do quite a lot of damage to a destroyer a few years ago. Different circumstance, but it wasn't even armed with missiles or mines.

3) Two words: Swarm Tactics. Iran can and have bought a lot of small vessels and aren't going to sent them one at a time piecemeal, either armed with missiles or mines. In shallow, enclosed waters they will operate a doctrine that is essentially a maritime Zerg-Rush, hoping to overwhelm foes with sheer numbers of boats and incoming munitions. It's a valid tactic, considering how cheap speedboats and human lives are to Iran, and how expensive US missiles are. The Iranians can lose fifty speedboats without breaking a sweat, but the moment that ONE US ship takes a hit, it's going to have political impact.

Ok... that's three problems. Four if we count surprise...

Mini-subs are *less* of a problem, really. They are slow and working in very shallow enclosed waters. So long as they can't just tootle into a harbour they aren't likely to be a major problem, because sonar actually *works* and isn't just a thing that goes 'ping'.

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Re: And another word for...

Sorry but opening your statement with this :

"After downing a civilian airliner in the region years ago..."

Kinda means I have no faith in this :

"highly train professionals"

While I'm at it your point 2 has no relavance though you admit to it.

As for point 3 this isn't Starcraft ! Please see WW1 for an example of that number does not equal victory. I see your point with the missles but these really aren't needed, most US ships are armed with perfectly capable Gatling guns with ample range and smart enough targetting to sore a hit... more so if there are plenty of targets.

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Re: And another word for...

"Kinda means I have no faith in this"

Mistakes happen. A thousand civilian vessels or more step within shooting range of USN assets daily without being gunned down. These people are professionals and often their only job is to identify targets. They get quite good at it. Also take a look at the USN's report into the incident and see what was learned. Sitting there blithely saying 'I have no faith in this' is sheer nonsense.

"While I'm at it your point 2 has no relavance though you admit to it."

It could be relevant if Iran decides to instead de-flag vessels in confined waters and then use them unconventionally. It shows that you can get within spitting distance of USN assets with the intention to attack.

"As for point 3 this isn't Starcraft ! Please see WW1 for an example of that number does not equal victory. I see your point with the missles but these really aren't needed, most US ships are armed with perfectly capable Gatling guns with ample range and smart enough targetting to sore a hit... more so if there are plenty of targets."

I was just trying to put it in terms understood to a reader without grounding in military science in an amusing manner.

Numbers are a still a force multiplier. Just not a very good one. "Quantity has a quality all of its own" as Stalin said. Please see Clausewitz, Sun Tsu, or any other classic military text for reference. Number does not equal victory, but nonetheless, this is Iran's strategy and why the USN now train to deal with such threats. It's asymmetric not only in terms as being 'about numbers', but in other ways, too. Using large numbers does not mean they will be stupidly employed and ran cattle-like towards the nearest Aegis vessel. For reference, WWI 'human wave' strategies operated by advancing right behind a rolling barrage, and Korean human wave tactics weren't stupid charges, but about exploitation.

Also: Phalanx (or 'gatling guns' as you call them) is designed to operate against missiles, not boats. I don't know about more modern systems, but it's not designed to engage boats travelling at low speed, and it's not manually pointed, but robotic-operated. They also each carry very limited ammunition.

Don't discount having more people than the other side has people as a valid tactic. All warfare comes down to one of two factors: Attrition or Manoeuvre. One of those involves the other side taking more casualties in men or materiel (yes: I spelled that right) than they can sustain (which using cheap boats while the enemy uses expensive limited missile supplies based on very expensive ships can exploit) and the other involves getting in a position to win (which speedboats in a small area of engagement can exploit). Iran can't fight the USN on equal terms, so they've devised an interesting strategy. And heck... if that fails, they can just toss ground-based missiles into the fray and hope that one or two hit home.

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Re: And another word for...

"....Phalanx (or 'gatling guns' as you call them) is designed to operate against missiles, not boats. I don't know about more modern systems, but it's not designed to engage boats travelling at low speed, and it's not manually pointed, but robotic-operated...." Phalanx has a manual mode which allows direct engagement of surface targets under all weather and day or night situations. Besides that, the main guns on USN warships are radar-aimed and will be able to engage and destroy whole fleets of Boghammers at range whilst the Phalanx take care of the missiles and rockets the Boghammers might fire back

That's assuming the Boghammers, speedboats and jetskis (yes, the Revolutionary Guards have tried launching RPGs at tankers from two-seat jetskis!) manage to sneak past the Seacobra gunships and F/A-18s. For non-letal defence in the case of "is-that-a-speedboat-of-fishermen-or-Iranian-kamikazes" the USN has shown the capability to dazzle attackers with lasers and discomfort them with microwave and sound emitters. The USN has conducted its own wargames, including live-fire tests against swarms of robo-boats, and has declared itself quite prepared for such attacks.

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Re: And another word for...

I wouldn't disagree that it's both a threat that the USN has trained to deal with (*specifically because the Iranians dreamed it up*) or that the USN has an arsenal of tools to deal with such a threat, at least on paper (Phalanx is deployed of course, but how many of the 'new toys'?). However, I was vehemently disagreeing with the poster's points that the USN are incompetent trigger-happy monkeys, that large numbers don't count for anything, that swarm attacks aren't a valid tactic or are an unintelligent one, and that 'gatling guns' engaging small vessels on water are shooting proverbial fish in barrels.

Iran didn't come up with an inherently stupid tactic that is doomed to certain failure, which is why the USN has now tooled up to deal with it, and trained it's very professional force to address it. I expect that a swarm attack would fail, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. Stranger things have happened in asymmetric warfare. I daresay that in dollar value, Iran's fleet of speedboats have already cost the USN a hundred or even thousand times their value in countermeasures and training alone.

Now, whether those defences can be applied and extended to civilian tankers is another question, of course. Even if escorted by USN airpower and vessels, the strait is a very confined space. Iran only has to get lucky the once for it to be a massive media event and publicity coup for them, where the USN only needs to get unlucky once and be provoked into hitting a false target for it also to be a media storm.

One thing is for sure: I would *not* want the job at looking at RADAR screens, picking and engaging fifty speedboats, on choppy water, at night, armed with anti-shipping missiles, potentially infiltrating a convoy, with the potential for engaging innocent shipping, in a narrow, busy shipping lane, at very short notice. Kudos to whoever does, if they get it right.

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U.S.S Ponce? Really?

Might as well name one U.S.S Twat while they are at it.

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Juan Ponce de Leon was the Spanish discoverer of Florida (or at least, the first European to get there, the place was already full of Seminoles), where there's a town named after him. He is commemorated by the USS Ponce*, whose crew have difficulty understanding why Brits tend to find their ship's name so amusing.

* Also on Star Trek, apparently.

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A joint operation?

>Might as well name one U.S.S Twat while they are at it.

http://uk.ebid.net/for-sale/twatt-air-force-base-orkeny-island-scotland-uk-64088189.htm

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Happy

Re: Chris Miller

I had to Yahoogle it as the name made me take a quick check of the calender just to make sure it wasn't April 1st!

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Re: A joint operation?

Can I be a spelling-ponce and suggest that actually the one with the nice roadsign is called "Twatt" with 2 "T"s which actually I think makes it even more offensively hilarious. However, where are these "Orkeny" Islands that they speak of on the website, are they near the Orkney Islands? ;)

And to be super-pedantic I feel the need to point out they have weird placenames because of the Nordic influence thereabouts, not long since the islands belonged to Norway, in historical timeframe anyway, plus Orkney means "whale islands" as far as I know.

There is also a rather splendid village called "Tarty" in NE Scotland ...... with roadsigns.

TTFN

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Anonymous Coward

Does this mean the chief sailor on the vessel gets to say at cocktail parties "I am the Commander of the Ponce" ;) Or perhaps that is Kelly Rowland's job ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Apparently Ponce is a Basque surname, but I'm guessing you don't have to have a Basque to be a Ponce ;)

A cravat and some golf slacks and some gold chains might do it ;)

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Re: A joint operation?

http://maps.google.com/?ll=59.096408,-3.277102&spn=0.025435,0.084543&t=m&z=14

and the road running west is named, no, if you are interested in silly names see it to believe it.

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Re: "I am the Commander of the Ponce"

I believe it may be even better than that, I was once involved in a multi-national exercise based out of the USN base in Norfolk, Virginia. Whenever a Captain visited one of the US vessels they'd announce over the ship's tannoy 'Portland arriving' where Portland was the name of the visiting Captain's ship, presumably as a mark of respect/to make sure every on-board wasn't caught by surprise. One can only assume whenever the CO of the Ponce visits another USN vessel they pipe "Ponce arriving"...

Not to mention their habit of addressing other captains by the name of their ship, e.g. "Ahh, Hello Ponce".

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This post has been deleted by its author

Hmm..

[need a 'quote' mechanism in the comments!]

"By Iain Thomson in San Francisco

Posted in Hardware, 14th July 2012 00:29 GMT

"The US is deploying a fleet of robotic submarine mine clearers to the Middle East to counter threats by Iran that it will close off the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of world oil supplies travel."

OK

The Sea Fox submersibles, [...] units are 1.3 meters long and weigh about 43kg, with an operating depth of 300 meters.[blah] The Sea Fox goes after mines in a kamikaze mission

"One downside of the Sea Fox is that the destruction of target mines also destroys the submersible, and at around $100,000 a unit it's an expensive way to clear obstacles. While this is not as expensive as seeing a warship or supertanker holed and sunk, with Iran claiming it has thousands of mines ready to deploy the final bill for any conflict could be high."

So there's a potential x000 X x000 cash escalation (notwithstanding manufacturing times & testing, remote detonation (underwater or surface) for the failed drones/devices in case of that 0.0001% chance of the failed drone picking up on (say) a fishing ship hull, etc..IIRC this is one of the most heavily-trafficed waterways, along with the Panama Canal & the English Channel, in the world

"The US has refitted one of their older warships, USS Ponce, to act as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) for the Sea Fox fleet and it has joined eight minesweepers and a fleet of MH-53 Sea Dragon helicopters in the Gulf. The US now has several carrier groups in the region and dispatched a squadron of F-22 stealth fighters there in April."

Team America - Yay!!

"Closing the Strait of Hormuz is such an easy job for the Islamic Republic of Iran's armed forces," he said. "It's actually a basic capability of the navy." ®

MRDA

Lewis, if you're not busy writing a 'go-go' article to accompany this, as many of your detractors are likeky to suspect, I'd really appreciate some sort of balanced 'you can all f-off' response to this drivel

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Re: Team America

I believe the interjection popularly employed is "fuck yeah!"

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So scared

"Closing the Strait of Hormuz is such an easy job for the Islamic Republic of Iran's armed forces," he said. "It's actually a basic capability of the navy."

Read: It is the only capability of the Iranian Navy.

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Re: So scared

If they are mine dropping, that's a lot less to laugh about. They _can_ effectivley close off this channel, which means huge consequenses for international shipping..

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Re: So scared

Don't know why someone would mod you down for what you said. High-ranking people in the US navy have said the same. It's pretty much accepted that if the Iranians want to close shipping there, then they can. I'm almost surprised they haven't given that the USA has bludgeoned other nations into not trading with Iran causing significant economic harm to its people and they have seen their scientists assassinated by foreign agents. What else? Oh yes, a laughable attempt to frame Iran for an assassination plot which no-one in the Intelligence sector believes for a second but which made good headlines for a few days. Incursion of air-space with US spy drones. Oh, and US congress (under Bush, and continued under Obama) has approved large amounts of funds and granted the CIA permission, for the explicit purpose of trying to ferment rebellion and discontent in the country. All on record, all provable. One can only imagine how a more warlike country such as the USA or Israel would react to foreign-assassinations of its citizens or state sponsored efforts to over-throw their government. Unlike some other countries, Iran has a long history or not starting wars. Last big one they fought was when Iraq invaded Iran without declaration or war, back in 1980 (we supported Iraq, as did the USA in a more complicated way) and the West ignored the unilateral use of WMD (chemical weapons) against Iran by Iraq. We know Iraq had them because we still have the receipts.

So whilst Iran needs to brush up on its human rights, it's not a belligerent country in this matter. We are. Given the heavy provocation the West and Israel is placing on them, I'm almost surprised they haven't closed off shipping. Many other countries would have including the USA and Israel (zero doubt). Similarly, there's no real doubt that if Iran wants to close off shipping, they can. And that would have a devastating effect on the world's current, shaky economy.

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Re: Re: So scared

"....a laughable attempt to frame Iran for an assassination plot which no-one in the Intelligence sector believes for a second....All on record, all provable....." Yes, and your proof is where? Rattling around in your tinfoil hat?

".....Iran has a long history or not starting wars...." Except that whenever the UN gets too interested in Iran, the Iranian puppets in Hezbollah and Hamas start shooting rockets at Israel. Lets not forget their post-invasion meddling in Iraq, including their support and guidance of al-Sadr and his fanatical Mahdi Army.

".....I'm almost surprised they haven't closed off shipping....." Because the previous attempts the Iranians made ended with a large portion of the Iranian Navy being sunk (read up on Operation Praying Mantis). The US also exposed the strategic weakness of the Iranian economy to attacks on their oil platforms (Operation Nimble Archer). The Iranians can close the Gulf temporarily at great cost to themselves, they dare not do it unless their backs are against the wall.

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Re: So scared

"trying to ferment rebellion" - i think you mean "foment rebellion"

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Re: So scared

They could always send some beer ;)

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Re: So scared

"Yes, and your proof is where? Rattling around in your tinfoil hat?"

Sorry, I mispoke. Everything else I listed (and which you did not challenge) is provable. I should have listed this one separately as it's only that almost everyone familiar with it considers it to be a bogus claim by the US. The "assassination attempt" is this one:

Iranian "Assassination" Plot on Saudi Ambassador

Unlike all the other items, I cannot prove this one. However, pretty much every expert on Iran, including senior US defense officials, have expressed from significant doubt to outright disbelief that this plot, if it is real, was actually tied to the Iranian government. It makes no strategic sense, no material or political gain, is incredibly amateur. The "plot" is almost custom-made to be a political disaster for Iran whilst gaining them nothing. Iran is not that stupid, no-one thinks they are that stupid, no-one has demonstrated any benefit to Iran and the US has failed to provide any corroborating evidence. Sure, you expect them to want to keep some details close to their chest to protect intelligence sources, but there's nothing remotely credible provided by them to convince any other government or even their own citizens. It has false flag written all over it in the opinion of the intelligence community.

"Except that whenever the UN gets too interested in Iran, the Iranian puppets in Hezbollah and Hamas start shooting rockets at Israel. Lets not forget their post-invasion meddling in Iraq, including their support and guidance of al-Sadr and his fanatical Mahdi Army."

Last time Hezbollah got uppity it was because Israel had sent troops into Lebanon. That's hardly a result of the "UN getting too interested in Iran." Hamas are in a near-constant state of having their leadership imprisoned or assassinated by the Israeli military. No-one can make the argument with a straight-face, that violence in Palestine is down to the "UN getting too interested in Iran". Hamas are not mindless "puppets" of Iran. They're actually the political party that the Palestinian people elected, but Israel and the West subjected Palestine to economic war (seizing Palestinian assets abroad) and cut off food and medical supplies to the country until their preferred party was able to seize power. How you can look at such things and say these are the result of UN interest in Iran, I don't know. Basically, you couldn't find a good example of Iran actually attacking anyone (unlike numerous other nations I could mention) so you had to find foreign groups that have loose affiliations with Iran and try to make a case that they are proxies for Iran. Ties? Yes. Iran's secret army? Hardly.

"Lets not forget their post-invasion meddling in Iraq, including their support and guidance of al-Sadr and his fanatical Mahdi Army."

Wow. Now that's pot calling the kettle black. USA and the UK fly and ship hundreds of thousands of troops thousands of miles around the world to invade and occupy Iraq for best part of a decade, to supply billions in cash to their favoured political groups whilst arresting or killing political enemies; and when the country that actually shares a border with Iraq is courted by some ethnically similar militants from within Iraq, resulting in the possible supply of some weapons and the odd over-zealous Shi-ite crossing the border, it's "meddling". Incidentally, Muqtada al-Sadr that you mention? He was actually a very popular community leader in Iraq who the US targeted for assassination because of his popularity. The US began the violence with al-Sadr. They had little choice. If they had allowed him to simply participate democratically, his popular support would have seen them rapidly ousted from the country by popular vote. During the US devastation of Fallujah, al-Sadr sent medical support to the citizens there. Small wonder that the US didn't like him.

"Because the previous attempts the Iranians made ended with a large portion of the Iranian Navy being sunk (read up on Operation Praying Mantis)."

That was an attack in Iran in response to a mine. It says very little about whether Iran could close the Strait to commercial shipping which they very easily could. The incident was condemned by the UN incidentally, who said the USA did not have cause to attack Iran to protect themselves.

"The US also exposed the strategic weakness of the Iranian economy to attacks on their oil platforms (Operation Nimble Archer)"

And here you make my point even further - the Iranians are not the belligerent party in this matter.

"The Iranians can close the Gulf temporarily at great cost to themselves, they dare not do it unless their backs are against the wall"

And at great cost to the fragile European oil-dependent infrastructure too. So yay - let's push their backs even further against the wall as we are doing. If they strike back, it's their fault.

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Re: So scared

"trying to ferment rebellion" - i think you mean "foment rebellion"

Iran is a muslim country. They lack expertise in exactly what should be fermented and what should not. ; )

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Re: Re: So scared

LOL, that was so funny! What, you were actually serious? Wow, now it's even funnier!

"....Everything else I listed (and which you did not challenge) is provable...." So please provide the proof linking the US with the assassinations of the Iraqi nuke scientists. Again, no point in holding my breath because you can't. Busted! Again. Go on, just for fun, see if you can make it three fails in a row.

".....Unlike all the other items, I cannot prove this one...." But you can't prove any of them, it's just paranoid guessing and conspiracy theories, not an ounce of proof anywhere.

"....Last time Hezbollah got uppity it was because Israel had sent troops into Lebanon...." The last time Hezbollah got uppitty was in 2006, when Hezbollah launched an unprovoked attack on Israel, including firing rockets at civillians and attacking a border patrol so they could kidnap two soldiers. It was only the latest in a long sequence of attempts by Hezbollah to kidnap Israelis in 2005 and 2006. Israel responded by sending in troops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Lebanon_War). Yes, you're just wrong again. Yet again. Don't you ever get tired of being shown up for such a know-nothing?

"....The US began the violence with al-Sadr...." Wrong again! The Mahdi Army started the violence in 2004 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqtada_al-Sadr), and al-Sadr had no interest in joining the diplomatic process until it was made clear to him he wasn't going to be able to impose his own Islamic revolution.

"....It says very little about whether Iran could close the Strait to commercial shipping which they very easily could....." Wrong yet again, again! It was an attempt to close the Gulf to tankers carrying Kuwaiti and Iraqi oil, and it failed. During what was known as the Tanker War of 1984-1987, the Iraqis attacked Iranian tankers and merchant ships, but the Iranians attacked any and all non-Iranian shipping, including Kuwaiti and Saudi tankers. And as for your anti-Yank hysteria, the first nation to come to the aid of the other Gulf states in facing down the Iranians was Soviet Russia when they sent Soviet-flagged tankers to Kuwait in 1987. It was only later that the US sen their own tankers, and then it took the Iranian attack on the USS Stark to get the Yanks fired up. But they still didn't retaliate until the Iranians attacked the US-flagged tanker Sea Isle City, whereupon the USN started escorting ships under Operation Good Will. The Iranian response was more Boghammer attacks and mining the water in an attempt to close the Gulf to non-Iranian shipping. It failed, a simple historical fact. You might know some of that if you actually tried reading up for yourself instead of being spoonfed.

"....And at great cost to the fragile European oil-dependent infrastructure too....." Which is why the current US and European sanctions include stopping imports of oil from Iran. The Saudis have stepped up production to fill the gap, meaning Iran cannot threaten the West with an oil embargo now. You are wrong yet again, in fact so wrong there is not one thing you have posted which has been proveably right. Major, epic fail. Back to school for you!

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Re: So scared

"1337sp33k name and general probability of being a troll aside"

"Harmony" was taken. I used a few letter substitutions. You used a "1" after your name. In both cases, it's just a way of using one's name when it's already registered by someone else. I'm old enough that I remember l33tspeak beginning. My username is hardly a reason to criticise what I say. And no, I am not trolling. I would be much happier if people nodded at what I say rather than got outraged as a couple of people have. (If I were a troll, I would presumably be going for lots of downvotes whereas my original post seems to be getting a lot of upvotes so I'm actually speaking in accord with a lot of the people here, apparently).

"while we're on the subject of what a wonderful and just beacon of peace Iran"

If you have to invent entire arguments on the other person's side in order to score points off them, you should re-evaluate your own position. It's called strawmanning. Nowhere have I described Iran in such glowing terms. What I have done is rightly point out that Iran has far from got the history of aggression that the USA and the UK and Israel have and this is a matter of historical record. I pointed out that Iran has long been on the receiving end of Western aggression as indeed it is right now with extreme sanctions and outright threats of military attack by Israel, the latter of which has been explicit publically about considering bombing Iran.

"to the dirty Jewholes and so on"

You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to play that card against people . Nowhere have I shown any signs of anti-semiticism nor will I, because I am not anti-semitic. I even corrected another poster and drew attention to the fact that despite a lot of Israeli propaganda to the contrary, Jewish != Israeli. Plenty of Jewish people are sick and tired of the Israeli government playing that card, thankyouverymuch. If you can't distinguish between criticism of the Israeli government and Jewish, then it is you that think someone's attitudes and values depend on their ethnicity (a racist idea), not me. My attitude to "Jewish" has always been consistent - it means almost nothing, everyone is the same as everyone else when it comes to heredity. It's utterly irrelevant to someone's value as a person or their rights. No-one should be treated better or worse because of their race or ethnicity.

For you to try and put racist slurs in someone else's mouth is disgusting both for the propagation of racist slurs and for the resorting to demonisation of people you disagree with instead of just addressing their argument.

"and since you keep bringing up Lebanon..."

Actually, Matt Bryant asked for examples of US participation in Israeli military conflict. I pointed out that in the 2006 conflict with Lebanon, the US refuelled Israeli jets and restocked them with guided missiles.

"Maybe you'd like to justify mentioning Iran's wonderfulness, Lebanon, and a distaste for country's meddling in the affairs of others with a straight face?"

Again, this inability on your part to understand someone arguing against Western war-mongering without thinking they are praising the defending country as "wonderful" or to resist putting words into someone else's mouth in order to mock their point of view. As to justifying Iran's "meddling in Lebanon", I no more have to justify it, than any American politician is forced to justify how the IRA got more of its funding from the USA than anywhere else. I do not have to justify it because it is not my job to paint Iran as whiter than white. Hezbollah has some ties to Iran. As does Hamas to a greatly lesser extent. In both cases however, they are hardly proxies for Iran - they have both arisen independently as a response to Israeli action and have naturally courted the most powerful player in the region that is not aligned with Israel (i.e. Iran) for support. Which in dribs and drabs they have received. Iran is a very old, considerably powerful nation. I merely pointed out the gross hypocrisy of calling the occasional sale of arms or turning a blind eye to exchange of expertise "meddling in the affairs of others" when the USA and the UK sends hundreds of thousands of troops half-way around the world to invade and occupy other countries, engages in financial warfare, stations military bases in other countries (Saudi Arabia), trains up foreign forces (Qatar, UAE) - thus keeping in power non-democratic governments, carries out targeted killings (Israel has made numerous assassination attempts on Palestinian leaders, the USA has assassinated people by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen at least). If Iran's spotty relationship with Hezbollah is what you call "meddling in the affairs of others", then I would be delighted to learn what you call the behaviour of the USA, UK and Israel.

My sole point is that Iran is not the belligerent party here. We are. I need no "justification" of any negatives of Iran to make that point. I am not trying to argue that Iran is "wonderful". These are your words. But "beacon of peace"? Yes, they are the defensive party in this and have yet to strike back in the face of economic warfare that is harming their citizens, foreign-funded efforts to subvert their elected government and overt threats of military action. So again, yes, it's significantly down to the reluctance of Iran to fight a war that we still have peace there because they've certainly been provoked beyond the point at which Israel or the USA would keep the peace. We also have the US to thank in a round-about way because they've been doing everything they can behind the scenes to find alternatives to military action. The US no more wants to go to war with Iran than Iran does. But unfortunately, the USA will likely (a) stand by Israel if Israel starts a war and (b) does not want to give up being the pre-eminent power in the Middle East, because that is the oil centre of the world.

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Re: So scared

"...whilst Iran needs to brush up on its human rights, it's not a belligerent country in this matter."

Iran is under sanctions because they are in breach of the NPT, which they freely chose to sign.

Iran signed the NPT so they could have access to nuclear technology from other NPT signatories (e.g. Russia) but have been and continue to be in breach of the treaty. Under the NPT, all NPT signatories (including USA , Russia, etc.) have to submit to inspections by the IAEA - Iran has not fully complied with such inspections. Signatories without nuclear weapons are not entitled to develop nuclear weapons but are entitled to obtain nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes. With their previously secret underground nuclear facilities now exposed, even the Russians now acknowledge that Iran is breach of the NPT.

India, Israel and Pakistan are not signatories of the NPT and are not entitled to obtain nuclear technologies from NPT members but they are not under any constraint as to their own development of nuclear weapons.

Although North Korea has withdrawn from the NPT, they are under sanctions because they were members of the NPT when they were found to be in breach of it.

Israel and others now expect Iran to have viable nuclear weapons in about 2 years. As other countries in the region feel threatened by Iran (it isn't all about Israel), some of them are likely to want to match Iran's capability, probably starting with Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

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Re: So scared

"So whilst Iran needs to brush up on its human rights, it's not a belligerent country in this matter. "

It kind of is, but due to capitalism.

Iran's oil ain't cheap. They need international oil process high in order to be able to make a decent margin. It's in Iran's best economic interest to sabre rattle regularly. Not enough to garner full sanctions, but enough to make it seem possible that they might throw their toys out of the pram, and hence enough to keep oil prices artificially high.

It'd be cheaper for everyone if Saudi could pipe output to a safe port, well away from Iran.

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Damn! Can't find the edit button: should read 'Team America - World Police Yaayy!!"

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Big Brother

Police?

More like the ranting moustachioed corporal threatening to hoover up a few neighbours. This time the guy in charge is black and is pushed on by the dudes who pretend to have been enslaved by a Pharaoh. History is bizarre.

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Re: Police?

You think you could clarify that a little?

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Re: Police?

The "guy is black this time" is obviously a reference to Barak Obama though race is really irrelevant and I think that's the point being made: that the leader of America happens to be Black this time but the actions and behaviour are the same. (Neither agreeing nor disagreeing, but interpreting the point as you asked).

The pushed on by people who pretend to be imprisoned by a Pharoah is obviously a reference to the rather shaky historical record of modern-day people who call themselves Jews. You will note if you look into it that Jewish as "race" actually covers multiple ethnic groups, the overwhelming historical evidence of which suggests that none of them (and certainly it's impossible that it's all of them) are descended from ancient Hebrew tribes that were enslaved in Egypt. Indeed the only modern-day group that can make credible claims to be descendants of these people are the "Black Jews" who ironically, had to fight hard to be accepted into Israel and still face discrimination for their skin colour there today. A good book on the subject if you're interested is "The Invention of the Jewish People" by Shlomo Sand.

As to Barak Obama being "pushed" by Jews, firstly, it's incorrect to say "Jews" - it's one of the greatest foundations of Israeli propaganda to pretend that Israeli == Jewish and vice versa. Israel does not speak for all Jewish people and criticism of the Israeli government is not anti-semiticism much as the Pro-Israeli lobby likes to pretend both of these. But if you substitute Zionist for Jewish, then the statement becomes more accurate. The USA has been frantically pursuing all sorts of diplomatic and non-violent means behind the scenes to placate Israel and prevent them launching unilateral attacks on Iran. Because if Israel starts a war, it is almost certain that the USA will get dragged into it on Israel's side, and the USA actually doesn't want such a war. Hence things like the sanctions are actually a result of the USA saying: "look, Israel, we're doing this, you don't need to attack". So the statement was wrong in that it referred to Jewish, not Israeli (and if the poster wants to be taken seriously, they'll not make that mistake in future), but otherwise had a lot of truth to it.

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Re: Re: Police?

".....Because if Israel starts a war, it is almost certain that the USA will get dragged into it on Israel's side....." More hysterical claptrap. Please supply one example of US troops participating in an Israeli war. I won't hold my breath 'cos I know you can't supply an answer. Fail, as usual.

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Re: Police?

" Please supply one example of US troops participating in an Israeli war. I won't hold my breath 'cos I know you can't supply an answer. Fail, as usual"

Well you should first list the actual wars Israel has been involved in. They're mostly shorter skirmish style wars involving border disputes and lasting months or less. If you're talking about an actual war with a large nation such as Iran, then I see no more reason for you to take this line of argument that the USA wouldn't get dragged in than I would see why a commentator in 1913 should say "there's never been a world war, ergo there cannot be a world war". Certainly US international diplomacy has been structured around the belief that if Israel started a war with Iran, that they would get dragged in so it seems the White House doesn't agree with you. But if you want actual US involvement in Israeli military conflict then, as an example, during the 2006 military conflict with Lebanon, the USA refuelled the Israeli jet fighters and re-stocked them with guided missiles. Prior to this, much of that military hardware was supplied by the USA in the first place as Israel receives top-of-the-range jets, tanks, attack helicopters and is invited into joint weapons development programs with the USA. It's a level of military inter-cooperation that goes way beyond the way the US may occasionally deign to sell some of its outdated hardware to lesser-favoured countries.

The USA provides $1.8bn dollars annually to Israel in specifically military aid and has done since 1987. How's that for participating in Israel's war effort? You'll note that you re-phrased what I wrote into your own, narrowly constructed rhetorical question, but US military support for Israel is massive and demonstrable and if Israel actually was stupid enough to start a major war in the region, it is near certain that the USA would be forced to become an active participant.

"I won't hold my breath 'cos I know you can't supply an answer. Fail, as usual."

I doubt you will be satisfied with it, but I have answered your post. Regarding the "fail as usual", there is no reason to be rude.

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Re: Re: Police?

"....Well you should first list the actual wars Israel has been involved in...." What, so you can still go on not being able to provide a single case of US soldiers getting involved in an Israeli war? All you evasions, all your frothing, but you just can't admit you were wrong (yet again, again). You posted a piece of complete male-bovine-manure and got called on it. Come on, man up for once and admit your failure. Believe me, it would only raise your standing in this forum, because everything else you post at the moment is just making you look sillier and sillier.

"....But if you want actual US involvement in Israeli military conflict then, as an example, during the 2006 military conflict with Lebanon, the USA refuelled the Israeli jet fighters and re-stocked them with guided missiles...." Really? And you have irrefutable evidence of this direct US involvement on the ground? Not some loon conspiracy site, not some pan-Arab nationalist propaganda whining, but real evidence from a respected journalist source (I know, bit of a contradiction in terms, but I suppose there are some more respectable than others) of US military personel refuelling Israelli combat aircraft in the 2006 war. Guess you're going to evade on that one as well. Oh, by the way, when you were being told what to bleat did your herders tell you that Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen were killed fighting for Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006? I'm betting not. AFter all, your claim of US military being directly involved in fighting for Israel collapsed into the standard whining about how much money Israel gets form the US. Fail!

"....but I have answered your post...." Nope, you haven't. I really hope you don't work in education because if you think that was an answer then your students are going to be very poorly educated.

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Re: Police?

I'll leave the historical record stuff to the other commenters and just touch on the antisemitism.

"You will note if you look into it that Jewish as "race" actually covers multiple ethnic groups, the overwhelming historical evidence of which suggests that none of them (and certainly it's impossible that it's all of them) are descended from ancient Hebrew tribes that were enslaved in Egypt."

This is false and easily proven false. There was an genetic analysis of Jews from around the world concluded in 2010 as part of the human genome project and published in Nature under strict peer review. It concluded that Jews around the world are genetically linked and "a race" by the definition people like you care about. A quick Google will find you plenty of supporting material.

Jew is an ethnic group/race/whatever you like to call it. It's not impossible for people of the same ethnic lineage to now have different skin and accents, despite your no doubt expert opinion on the matter.

Further, the pyramids were built 4000-5000 years ago, the genetic dispersal of the Jews certainly makes it likely they were all in the same place around then.

" Indeed the only modern-day group that can make credible claims to be descendants of these people are the "Black Jews" who ironically, had to fight hard to be accepted into Israel and still face discrimination for their skin colour there today.""

This is total horseshit.

First off, thank you for mentioning the "black Jews" (their proper name is Beta Israel btw, show some respect). Not only did you get everything about them wrong, but they're pretty much the fatal blow to your argument that would show someone less familiar with the topic just how wrong you are.

There is a Y-chromosome marker shared by Cohens throughout the world, black, white, green, spotted, whatever. It uniquely identifies them all as having come from the same paternal relative several thousand years ago. All of those people, regardless of skin colour, share the same ethnicity (Jew) and a family tree that goes back to a certain priest group. And guess what, the Beta Israel have it (as well as many other genetic markers linking them to other Jewish populations, and those populations to one another).

Second of all, Israel hates the poor false victim group you're trying to create so much, that Operation Moses, Operation Sheba, Operation Solomon, etc.

You did get right that there's a shaky historical record of Jewish presence in Egypt at the time, but proverbial broken clock and all. No points for trying to use a minor historical detail to belittle an entire race, either.

Now have whoever's reading this to you tuck you back in so you can masturbate crying into your Adolph Hitler bedsheets, you're pathetic.

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Re: Police?

"I'll leave the historical record stuff to the other commenters and just touch on the antisemitism."

Saying that Jewish "race" is no different to anyone else's race in any way that matters or should matter, is not anti-semiticism. It's about as non-prejudiced as you can logically get. PLEASE stop throwing around such nasty ad hominems. I don't know what your issue is but nowhere have I said anything that is remotely anti-semitic and nor will I. You're just nasty in throwing around these accusations. The whole reason we are discussing "Jewishness" is because I pointed out that someone was wrong to say "Jew" when they should have said "Israeli". Just drop these pathetic, offensive ad hominem attacks,

"This is false and easily proven false. There was an genetic analysis of Jews from around the world concluded in 2010 as part of the human genome project and published in Nature under strict peer review. It concluded that Jews around the world are genetically linked and "a race" by the definition people like you care about"

I assume by "people like you", you mean people who have an interest in anthropology? I am roughly familiar with the study you refer to. It tested around 220 people I think? Truly a representative sample. The study actually showed, for what it is worth, as much genetic similarity with non-Jewish ethnic groups (such as Italians) than different Jewish ethnic groups had with each other. At any rate, the study was well-received by people who thought it corroborated elements of the Bible. In contrast to that, we have historical records going back to the Roman times of mass conversions to Judaism - they were actually quite alarmed by the wave of evangelism. With entire nations converting in some cases (the Khazar kingdom in the 8th century converted, again a matter of historical record) it is plain that few if any modern day Jews are actually descendents of any tribes imprisoned by the Pharoahs (the original description someone made). At least any more than any other group that doesn't call itself Jewish is. The study you refer to showed that due to inter-breeding, non-Jewish ethnic groups such as Italians, are as much related as most Jewish ethnic groups. Despite the small number of subjects and the attempts to represent the results in a certain way, I'm actually glad you brought it up as it makes my point to some extent. I don't think the results really show what you think they show.

I am away from my reference books at the moment, but I recommend you read the book by Shlomo Sand that I linked to earlier. As well as being a good collation of the various arguments, the interesting part is the degree to which his well-researched work (he is a professor of history in Tel Aviv) has upset politically motivated believers in the idea of direct descent from the biblical Hebrew tribes. Because there is (as evidenced by opposition to his research) very major political movement to pretend that Jewish people are a "race" when the majority of evidence is against it.

I don't know what motivates you to reject this argument. It is certainly not an anti-semitic argument: the conclusion is that Jewish people are just the same as everyone else.

"Jew is an ethnic group/race/whatever you like to call it. It's not impossible for people of the same ethnic lineage to now have different skin and accents, despite your no doubt expert opinion on the matter."

Well I am expert enough at least not to use ethnicity and race interchangeably as you do. At any rate, I've addressed the above. There are lots of different ethnicities under the umbrella term "Jewish". If you think Jewish is all the same ethnicity then you are showing a staggering ignorance of Jewishness. If you think that a single race cannot include both Jewish and non-Jewish people, then again, you are very ignorant of Jewish populations. I defy you to spot the difference between a Mizrahim Jew and the racially identical Arab. Jew can also refer to a practioner of Judaism of course, but I assume you are discounting those.

"Further, the pyramids were built 4000-5000 years ago, the genetic dispersal of the Jews certainly makes it likely they were all in the same place around then."

This makes no sense. There's no causal connection here.

"This is total horseshit"

Which part? That the Black Jewish people have the best claim to be closest related to the biblical jews? It's my understanding that this is so, but I could be wrong. Or that Black Jews had to fight hard to be accepted into Israel and that they still face prejudice today? That part can be confirmed just by asking any of them, if you care to. And you can check historical records to see how much resistance there was to accepting them as eligible to become Israeli citizens. Despite their practicing Judaism as a people for a very long time.

"First off, thank you for mentioning the "black Jews" (their proper name is Beta Israel btw, show some respect). "

There's nothing disrespectful about calling someone Black, thanks. It's nothing to be ashamed of. And when I said Black Jews (I relish your attempt to try and out-respect the person you are arguing with in order to try and make them look bad). Beta Israel is a bit of a loose term. Properly it should refer to the Ethiopian Jews and their direct descendents. However, it has been somewhat usurped by American Black Jewish people who are definitely converts (of about five generations maximum) and have no direct relationship to the ancient Jews. The Ethiopian Jewish people seem to have the most plausible claim to direct descent to me.

"There is a Y-chromosome marker shared by Cohens throughout the world, black, white, green, spotted, whatever. It uniquely identifies them all as having come from the same paternal relative several thousand years ago"

I think you have fallen for some politically motivated science here. I will need you to link to the actual study, but my first instinct is to ask how many non-Cohens share this marker also, how many "Cohens" do not share the marker, and how many markers are commonly shared by other people sharing the same family surname. Secondly, people with the surname Cohen present only a sub-faction of Jewish people. Does the study say anything about these non-Cohen people? Basically, there are so many suspect things with just the abstract you have presented, that I'm going to have to ask you for a link to the study for this to even be considered as evidence.

"Second of all, Israel hates the poor false victim group you're trying to create so much, that Operation Moses, Operation Sheba, Operation Solomon, etc."

"Israel" is a nation. Not a race. I personally am sick am tired of having to distance Jewish from Israeli in the face of people such as yourself who continually conflate the two. And if pro-Israeli types hate the "poor false victim group", then perhaps you can stop trying to classify any criticism of the Israeli government's foreign policy with anti-semiticism.

"No points for trying to use a minor historical detail to belittle an entire race, either."

Ethnic group, not race. And where have I belittled anyone because of that? My whole position, articulated quite clearly, is that I don't think Jewish is any different to anyone else! How can you simultaneously criticize me for not believing that Jewish is genetically distinct from other people in any relevant way and also claim that I am belittling people because of their race? It does not make sense to me.

"Now have whoever's reading this to you tuck you back in so you can masturbate crying into your Adolph Hitler bedsheets, you're pathetic."

And again, the insults, the ad hominems and the putting of words into other people's mouths. I don't know if there are any Reg guidelines about repeatedly demonizing people you disagree with as racists, but if so, you have gone way beyond them repeatedly. Ad hominems and strawmen are the sign of a weak argument.

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Re: Police?

"What, so you can still go on not being able to provide a single case of US soldiers getting involved in an Israeli war?"

I said that the USA would almost certainly get dragged into a major war between Iran and Israel and that they don't want this. You responded demanding to know when the US had ever been involved in Israel's war. I pointed out that this wasn't what I'd claimed but helpfully did point out that they had refuelled Israeli jets and re-supplied them with guided missiles during the conflict with Lebanon in 2006. Also that they provide $1.8bn in specifically military aid along with supplying advanced hardware that they wouldn't dream of supplying to anyone else and did that count as military support in Israel's conflicts? (There are other examples if needed). You have now narrowed it down to specifically USA soldiers fighting on behalf of Israel. I don't suppose you accept supply of Intelligence to Israel by US military forces as participation either? Exactly how long do you expect me to humour you in your ever narrowing questions when none of them actually refute the point I am making in the first place?

"All you evasions, all your frothing"

Why must you use characterisations of me as part of your argument? I assure you, I am quite calm as I type this. It is your own posts with their repeated accusations of hysteria, frothing, etc. that stray from reasoned debate and into pejoratives and emotive language. Just drop this aspect perhaps, instead of telling me what will "raise my standing in the forum" and to "man" up. (Why is admitting one's faults considered a male trait, btw?)

"Really? And you have irrefutable evidence of this direct US involvement on the ground?"

Why must you keep re-phrasing what I write? I wrote that the US refuelled Israeli jets and provided guided missiles. That's even the part that you quote before responding with the above. But I will provide you with evidence to support what I say. And no, it wont be some "loon conspiracy site". Unless of course you consider the New York Times such, which is your prerogative:

NYT Article. The source I would actually quote would be Jane's Sentinel, but unless you are in the defence industry you are unlikely to be a subscriber. Unfortunate as they will have more detail, but hopefully you will accept the New York Times in the interim. I have no doubt I could find more detailed public sources if needed but it seems that you are only interested in demanding answers to your own contrived questions, so I shall leave it at that for now.

"Guess you're going to evade on that one as well"

No, not really. ; )

Incidentally, on the subject of evading, you seem to be entirely missing the point that I am making in favour of trying to set up strawmen about Iran being perfect or demanding evidence for every little thing, rather than engaging with what I am actually doing which is contrasting at best, minimal "meddling" (your words) by Iran in states it borders with, to the epic interference in other nations that is the USA, Israel and the UK playing ruler to nations half way around the world. It's never been my contention that Iran is perfect nor have I ever hinted that it was. My point is that Iran is the defensive party in this matter. Something you have repeatedly "evaded" (your words) in favour of micro-questioning what I write or heading off on tangents of your own choosing and demanding that I defend them.

"Oh, by the way, when you were being told what to bleat did your herders tell you that Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen were killed fighting for Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006? I'm betting not. AFter all, your claim of US military being directly involved in fighting for Israel collapsed into the standard whining about how much money Israel gets form the US. Fail!"

I made no such claims. They came from you so that you could say that they were false. And no-one has told me "what to bleat". I see no reason for the repeated unpleasant attacks. They are the recourse of a weak argument. You should evaluate your own position to see if it is actually impartial, imo, to be honest.

"Nope, you haven't. I really hope you don't work in education because if you think that was an answer then your students are going to be very poorly educated."

I don't work in education. I taught maths for a short time and went back to industry because I could earn three times the salary. Thanks for ending your post with one more insult. I felt that your post did not contain enough of them already, but this completely unprovoked addendum helps redress the balance.

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Re: Re: Police?

Keep piling on the fail! I read the NYT article and nowhere does it mention the US refuelling Israelli jets, so was that just the vocies in your head speaking? The articel is about the Israellis taking up an option on an already approved arms purchase, nothing more. Come on, you made the statement, you have failed to back it up in any way at all, yet you keep repeating it. You are the pinnacle of sheepleness, shamelessly and stupidly bleating the same falsehoods even when your lies have been repeatedly exposed.

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Re: Police?

I have been skimming through this discussion, and it's not like I agree to h4rm0ny's every point – but damn it boy, are you even paying attention? The opening sentence of that NYT article reads:

The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday.

So while it may not confirm the point about refueling jets, it does confirm the bomb shipments, which is just as damning.

I have to say that your tendency to mockingly disregard contrary arguments as "fail" whenever they don't address your every single little point is rather unnerving. So now it's all down to whether the US refueled Israeli jets or not? And when that is confirmed by some not-easily-disregarded source, what else?

I agree to h4rm0ny's main point that were Israel to get itself into a war (and by that I mean a proper war, not a three-week skirmish) with a major Middle East country, be it Iran or whoever else, it would be hard for the US to not be dragged into it – not out of any particular love for the nation, but rather due to economical, political and yes, military ties. You can point that it never happened, but then again, I don't know that Russia had ever come into any war in order to support France before 1914 – but when it did it set the world in flames.

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Boffin

Re: Re: Police?

h4m0ny stated that the US would be dragged in to any war between Israel and Iran. When I challenged him to provide a historic exmaple of US military forces getting directly involved in such a shooting war, on the ground, he frothed and evaded and spewed out some rubbish about the US re-arming and refuelling Israelli jets during the 2006 Lebanon War. When challenged to show evidence of this he failed again. Supplying munitions on a revised timescale to a previously approved order is NOT the same as US military forces even re-arming and refuelling jets, and definately does not constitute US forces getting directly involved in an Israelli war. In short, he lied and got called on it.

Any war between Israel and Iran would be a very drawn out affair as neither side has much options for directly attacking and occupying the other, they are too geographically separated. The best Iran can do is fire missiles at Israel, which will hopefully be largely defeated by Isrealli defence SAMs as the Iranians will be shooting at cities of civillians. The Iranian air force is too weak for a bombing campaign, and would have to overfly other Gulf states which would probably shoot down the Iranian jets before they got close to Israel. The Iranian option of using Syria as a forward base for the Iranian jest is starting to look unlikely as that country falls into civil war. Likewise, the Israellis have a limited chance of bombing Iran after the first attack and probably not many cruise missiles they can launch from their Dolphin subs, so it will probably resolve into a lot of posturing along with attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah. If things get too messy the Israellis could strike the Iranian oil terminals, but if EU and US sanctions have killed Iranian oil exports then there is not much point. The US is unlikely to get involved in a fight with Hamas or Hezbollah as Israel doesn't need help on the ground for either, the only US involvement may be arms shipments to Israel like the one in the NYT article, so the whole idea of US having to send young Amercians to die fighting for Israelli is just male-bovine-manure of the silliest and deliberately alarmist kind.

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Anonymous Coward

Sea Fox Repurposed

These things sound easy to hijack and re-purpose. Locate Sea Fox, send in SCUBA divers, follow fiber-optic cable away from the Fox for a safe distance, cut the cable, wait for a (possible) self-destruct ka-boom, if no ka-boom, take home your new pet Fox.

Spend time with it, train it, and use it for your own nefarious purposes.

"America... Fuck, Yeah!"

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Devil

Re: Sea Fox Repurposed

And you think that the support team which has launched said fox will be twiddling their thumbs. On a second thought - yeah, why not, even more stupid things have happened in the military.

In any case, it should be possible to improve this thing so that more of it is reusable (detachable warhead, etc) if it has to be used en-mass. For a limited deployment 100k military list pricing is not that bad - f.e. a modern torpedo costs north of 10k.

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Re: Sea Fox Repurposed

> Locate Sea Fox, send in SCUBA divers

Scuba diving to 300m is possible, but it is not a trivial undertaking...

Vic.

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Re: cut cable?

Well, duh, that's easy: "Carrier lost - self destruct sequence initiated."

I want to see you locate and then splice an optical cable underwater whilst moving, so you can data tap before cutting the original connection. You also have to keep the original signal going at the same time. That's even hard in laboratory conditions, let alone underwater at a depth which is bloody hard to get to without special kit.

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Re: Sea Fox Repurposed @Vic

Since the Persian Gulf and the straits are at most a couple of hundred feet deep that's not going to be a problem. Moreover, floating or moored mines will be at the surface, or within seventy feet of it. However, the Iranians would be able to float sufficient mines that there wouldn't be the resource to SCUBA them, or use these submersibles.

For those that are interested, there's plenty of (public domain) detail on the Iranian "threat" in this link:

http://csis.org/files/publication/120711_Iran_Gulf_MilBal.pdf

The sponsoring institution is a US political think tank, but before anybody dismisses it on that account, read the document - it is in fact very balanced, with some excellent discussion of the positions and thinking of both sides. There's a second volume on the same site looking at the nuclear and non-conventional threats, if you can get through the first one!

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