December 14, 2016

December's Special Report to Donors, ISRAEL’S SECOND STRIKE CHOICES


Haifa, Israel's submarine base. Where it all begins.
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Regards


Peter Coates

Director
Submarine Matters International

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

As draft of submarine is deep, its refueling of diesel fuel the sea is difficult. But, reloading oxidizer (LOX = liquid oxygen) and fuel (methanol or hydrogen) on the sea is much more difficult than that of diesel fuel. Especially reloading of hydrogen seems to be impossible. Handling of methal for fuel cell is difficult, quite high grade methanol should be used and contamination should be prevented, because contamination has adverse effect on platinum catalyst and sometimes shortens its life time significantly. Handing and realoading of LOX are difficult tasks. Taker equipped with sepecial reloading system and LOX/methanol tanks is also needed.

Submarine travelling from Halifa to Red Sea or Persian Gulf will be conducted without using AIP.

Regareds

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous

Thanks for your advice. From it I would say Israel would not attempt to a AIP chemical (LOX and methanol/hydrogen) refuel at sea.

The AIP Dolphin 2s would probably need to pull into a friendly port for any AIP refueing attempt. In the Arabian Sea, south of Iran, are many hostile Muslim countries. The few friendly ports might include:

- Indian west coast naval facilities, some more private (away from public eyes) and secure than others

- Sri Lankan?

- the US Diego Garcia base (although a bit far)

- or locals turning a blind eye for a lot of money

might be feasable.

Regards

Pete

MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

I did not understand the need to travel that far?
The Popeye Turbo SLCM is said to have a range of 1,500 km. That is enough to strike Tehran, Riad or Mekka.

Just waiting somewhere in the Mare Nostrum would be sufficient for a devastating second strike capability. Only to reach Islamabad a travel around Africa would be necessary.

A diesel submarine could be easily refueled at sea by any vessel or at strange places like Ascension Island, St. Helena or South Georgia. LOX or Hydrogen is not required for such a journey.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Josh said...

@Pete

Is LOX/H2 refueling remotely necessary? If the boat is in the Persian Gulf its basically always at snort depth anyway and the Iranians don't have any particularly effective ASW assets that I'm aware of. In the Arabian Sea no one is going to find it but the USN anyway, AIP or no AIP. I wouldn't expect any refueling outside of Israel propper. I'd expect AIP fuels would be reserved for on station use only during times of conflict or high tensions and otherwise the boat would operate as a D/E for endurance reasons.

Cheers,
Josh

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Yes I've argued in the special report text that Israeli Dolphin's would be vulnerable moving through Suez Canal and Red Sea choke-points and its too far to the Arabian Sea, for assured second-strike. So, yes, launching their "Popeye Turbos" against Tehran from the eastern Med makes more sense.

Jericho IIIs and probably IIs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jericho_(missile) could hit more distant Islamabad although I think the Pakistani's would be worried about Israel's (almost) ally, India.

True. Ascension Island and St. Helena could serve a better refueling ports.

Israel using the Dolphin 2's AIP ability in the eastern Med makes more sense than traveling on 35 to 50 day transits to the Arabian Sea.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Josh

The narrows and shallows of the Persian Gulf and Iran's liking of small but (perhaps) effective mini-small submarines could put Israeli Dolphins at risk - see http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/irans-submarine-forces.html . Also the 1,500km range of the Israeli Popeye Turbos makes creeping close into the Persian Gulf unnecessary.

The Dolphin's range requirements (in my report) to the Arabian Sea (and Persian Gulf) make refueling necessary.

In the Arabian Sea a Dolphin running its diesels to snort may make it a target for Iran's Kilo subs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilo-class_submarine#Operators . Also Israel did upgrade from its 3 non-AIP Dolphin 1s to its 3 AIP Dolphin 2s for operational reasons that must have been important to Israel.

Russian assistance to the Iranian Navy (maybe better sonars on the Kilos or perhaps a SOSUS array in the Arabian Sea?) might also make the Iranian Navy more effective than we might hope.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Refueling on the sea shown in the vedeo [1] is not an easy task for submarine. Submarine deck is very small, narrow and round [2, 3]. I think only skilled submariners can carry out refueling on calm water under to-be-detected condition. Also, no refueling ship is found in list of ships of the Israeli Navy [4].

[1]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRzKaEOseT8, see 0min51sec-0min54sec)
[2]https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/212A%E5%9E%8B%E6%BD%9C%E6%B0%B4%E8%89%A6
[3]http://www.flickriver.com/photos/arnekiel/5509751153/
[4]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_of_the_Israeli_Navy

Regards

Josh said...

@Pete

My point was that for the most part, AIP isn't necessary for the Israelis. No one they could realistically come into conflict with has sufficient assets to even hunt a conventional D/E boat. So refueling the AIP isn't an issue; its just a nice to have luxury than can be used only under the worst case scenarios. Irans mini subs lack any kind of sonar that would detect Dolphins and the Kilos aren't especially effective ASW assets - they are primarily anti surface assets in usage even by the Russians. At best they could hope to be a barrier patrol. In open ocean they'd be looking for a needle in a stack of needles. Russian assistance is the blind leading the blind; the Russians barely have any significant ASW assets except for Soviet vintage destroyers and MPAs. It also seems fantastically unlikely they'd use these assets to support Iran in my opinion. Syria might be an intersection of agreement for them but outside that the two have little in common.

Cheers,
Josh

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 16/12/16 10:00 PM ]

Refueling at sea actually happened in the WWII German Navy. This was from large (in WWII) German submarines known as Milchkühe (Milk Cows) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Type_XIV_submarine. Of course submarine to submarine is not what we are talking about. Also modern submarine are more circular in cross-section making them less stable when surfaced.

The Arabian Sea would be dangerous waters for designated Israeli submarine tenders - so I think any tenders would be disguised as small freighters or large trawlers.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Josh [at 17/12/16 9:04 AM]

Israeli Dolphin 2s operating in what I think is their meain missile launch zone (Eastern Mediterranean) would benefit from AIP because it is very quiet.

As Dolphin mount a major part of Israel's nuclear capability the security AIP provides is important. As AIP is heavy, Israel must have thought long and hard before ordering that AIP be built in Dolphin 2s.

Iran's (almost) ally http://www.anonews.co/russia-china-iran-alliance/ high tech Russia deploys submarine with good sonar (later Kilos, Akulas, now Yasens). In the Med Russian SSK and SSNs could certainly detect snorting (noisy diesel running) Dolphins

Yes, I agree refueling AIP at sea isn't an issue. Its so difficult.

Regards

Pete