The Iranians are frenziedly digging hundreds of new missile launch silos in central and Western Iran in readiness for a US or Israeli attack on their nuclear installations, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report.
Some Western sources have noticed that they are creating more silo bases than they have operational missile batteries in order to mislead their enemies about the locations of the genuine launch pads.
The dummy silos are fully equipped with air defenses including anti-air missiles which too are fake.
Iran is also building a whole bunch of missiles of the Shahab-2, Shahab-3 liquid fuel types and a lot of the new Sajil-2 solid fuel type. There are also indications that the Iranians may be working on a three stage missile patterned after the Pakistani Ghauri-3 series.
Analysis. There is a line spoken by Jim Hutton in The Green Berets where he talks about what he has learned on a reconnaissance of the local Viet Cong forces. The line goes something like this. “Charlie is building a lot of ladders and caskets. Ladders to get at us and caskets to be buried in.” Basically this was an attack warning.
It is difficult to tell if this is an attack warning or a defensive measure, or both. So far the Iranian government has chosen to work through proxies, Hezbollah and the Houthi, to advance its political and religious aims while preserving plausible deniability. I see no immediate reason for them to change tactics.
But they are pushing another button in Riyadh and Jerusalem. An array of missile silos would present a targeting nightmare to the Israelis and the Saudis.
If nothing, it would probably force them to use their supply of “bunker busters” on the missile silos and not on the nuclear facilities.
It is the Israeli F-15Is that are the only jets capable of delivering the bunker busters. They are not certified for the Tornado that I know of. I doubt that a Durandel would penetrate the top of a missile silo even if it was a direct hit.
Or, the Israelis will be forced to fly multiple attack waves and thereby deplete their Air Force. The other possibility is a nuclear strike against some of the targets by Jericho missiles and cruise missiles.