The IAF vs Iran's Nuke Complex

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Some of the good folks at MIT have just figured how many bombs it would take for the Israeli Air Force to blow up Iran's entire nuclear weapons infrastructure. Apparently, it isn't so hard after all.

For those keeping score at home, here's what the Israelis would need:

(24) 5,000-pound BLU-113 penetrator warheads to collapse the underground centrifuge halls at Natanz

(2) 2,000-pound bombs to destroy the above ground pilot production plant at Natanz

(12) 2,000-pound BLU-109 penetrator warheads to blow up the underground uranium conversion facility at Esfahan

(10) 2,000-pound GBU-10 laser guided bombs to hit the heavy water production plant and reactor site at Arak

But, according to the MIT report, there is one major catch: the air strike on Natanz could fail if Iran's air defenses succeed in downing only two of the IAF's strike package of 24 F-15Is if each is loaded with a single BLU-113.

MIT concludes, however:

"The foregoing assessment is far from definitive in its evaluation of Israeli military potential. However it does seem to indicate that the IAF, after years of modernization, now possesses the capability to destroy even well-hardened targets in Iran with some degree of confidence. The operation appears to be no more risky than the earlier attack on Osirak and provides at least as much benefit in terms of delaying Iranian development of nuclear weapons."

(You can read the entire study here)

-- Stephen Trimble

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