Thanks to Rupa Shah for pointing me to yet another article which displays the solipsistic, “through the looking glass” quality of so much of Israeli defense thinking.
It goes without saying that Iran is preparing for a potential Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities. As part of its preparation, it has negotiated to purchase Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft system, the S-300:
If Russia goes through with the sale of its most advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Iran, Israel will use an electronic warfare device now under development to neutralize it and as a result present Russia as vulnerable to air infiltrations, a top defense official has told The Jerusalem Post.
The Russian system, called the S-300, is one of the most advanced multi-target anti-aircraft-missile systems in the world today and has a reported ability to track up to 100 targets simultaneously while engaging up to 12 at the same time. It has a range of about 200 kilometers and can hit targets at altitudes of 27,000 meters.
Now, keep in mind that the nature of this system is defensive, not offensive. In response, Israel talks as if Iran and Russia are engaging in action that would endanger Israel in some way. Of course, what the S-300 will do is constrain Israel’s offensive capability to attack Iran. But in the Israeli mind anything that impinges on its God-given right to rule the Mideast roost is a deadly threat to its interests.
Another strange aspect of the thinking is that Israel would have Russia shiver in its boots because deployment of the Russian weapons system would allegedly spur Israel to deploy its own electronic warfare system. Which implies that Israel will not develop the system if Russian doesn’t deploy its system in Iran. Why in heaven’s name would Israel NOT develop the system regardless of what Russia does in Iran? To think it wouldn’t is simply preposterous.
You’ll note that the Israeli defense official talks as if the Israeli system were ready for deployment and that it is the Russian’s who are upping the ante by introducing the S-300. But the Israeli system is only in development. To presume that this system will actually be successful at its task is rather presumptuous considering the actual record of weapons system development.
Here is yet more gobbledy-gook from said defense official:
A top IAF officer also said this week that Israel needed to do “everything possible” to prevent the S-300 from reaching the region.
“Russia will have to think real hard before delivering this system to Iran, which is possibly on the brink of conflict with either Israel or the US, since if the system is delivered, an EW [
electronic warfare] system will likely be developed to neutralize it, and if that happens it would be catastrophic not only for Iran but also for Russia,” the
defense official said.
Neutralization of one of the main components of Russian air
defense would be a blow to Russian national security as well as to
defense exports. “No country will want to buy the system if it is proven to be ineffective,” the official said. “
Does he really believe that Russia would be afraid to deploy its system for fear a counter-system would be developed against it? Isn’t that what weapons systems developers do for a living? So why would the Russians think that not delivering the system would somehow improve Russia’s defense capability?
All I can say is that either this officer has been reading his own press releases too long, likes the sound of his own voice, or is entirely deluded into thinking that what he has to say will actually deter Russia from whatever course of action it is contemplating regarding Iran. Keep in mind that this is the same IAF that boasted during the Lebanon War that it had neutralized Hezbollah, destroyed its offensive capability, etc. I think the Russians were reading the IAF press releases from that war and won’t be terribly intimidated by the current sputtering.
In this article of course there is entirely no understanding that it is Israel’s offensive capability, including its multiple nuclear weapons, which cause its neighbors to feel they have need of such Russian defensive systems. No Israeli nuclear or other air-related threat–no need for sophisticated anti-aircraft systems.