Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Natanz strike a scenario in latest Naval Sitrep

A Satellite view of the Natanz facility

There's a lot of media speculation about a potential Israeli strike on the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz, but very little hard data-based analysis is available from open sources. (We can only hope that our Intel community has done that sort of analysis already.

The latest issue of the Naval Sitrep, No. 37 (Oct. 2009), has a very extensive scenario for the Harpoon4 system and analysis of a potential Israeli strike on the Natanz nuclear site that looks extremely interesting.

The Natanz site is famous as the place where Iran has installed thousands of centrifuges to process uranium. It's an attractive target for the Israelis because it's a fairly vulnerable part of the Iranian nuclear program.

I'm going to look it over in more detail over the next few weeks, but at first glance the strike looks surprisingly doable from an operational standpoint. Its wisdom from a strategic point of view is outside the scope of the scenario, although it's the biggest question of all.

Still, it's interesting that the only deep analysis of the issue I have seen anywhere is in a wargame-related publication.

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