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Morning Report - April 2: Regime's Weapons of Desperation

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:48 pm    Post subject: Morning Report - April 2: Regime's Weapons of Desperation Reply with quote

Iran: unrest, repression, and terror. Iran Focus: 'Tehran, Iran, Apr. 02 – At least three prisoners were injured and three others transferred to unknown locations after a prison riot in the city of Orumieh, north-west Iran, according to families of political prisoners. ... Among those beaten badly by prison guards are Mostafa Sheikhipour, Ali Tappehrash, and Mamesh Farvardin. At least three other prisoners by the names of Latif Mohammadi, Jahangir Baduzadeh, and Karim Mam-Hosseini have been taken from their cells to unknown locations.' Iran Focus: 'Iran’s security forces have arrested several student activists responsible for the publication of campus newspapers in two Iranian universities, government-run Persian-language websites reported on Sunday. Aslan Kamrani, editor of student paper Ael Sesi, was one of the individuals arrested. The paper is distributed in the University of Zahedan in the restive province of Sistan-va-Baluchistan in south-eastern Iran. Asgar Nouri, editor of the student paper Birlik, was arrested in the Iranian capital. Birlik is distributed in Tehran’s Allameh Tabatabi University. Another activist, Jaber Moussavi, has been detained on similar charges. Two other students, Moharram Kamrani and Ibrahim Rashidi, have been arrested for their role in the publication of an Azeri paper. Azeris are Iran’s largest ethnic minority.' Sunday Mirror via MPG: 'Date 02-04-2006. A network of terror camps has been set up in Iran to train insurgents to kill our troops in Iraq. Spy chiefs say al-Qaeda experts are giving three-week courses in planting roadside bombs, sniping and avoiding capture before, during and after attacks against troops. British Special Forces are thought to know where the desert bases are and may be tracking insurgents who come and go. Last night a senior intelligence source said: "The camps have been set up by an al-Qaeda splinter group from Iran's Revolutionary Guards." They are thought to be responsible for at least three recent deaths in Al Amarah in Iraq.' (various)

Iran test-fires torpedo or "underwater missile". AP via Fox: ' Iran announced its second major new missile test within days, saying Sunday it has successfully fired a high-speed torpedo capable of destroying huge warships and submarines. The tests came during war games that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have been holding in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea since Friday at a time of increased tensions with the United States over Tehran's nuclear program. The Iranian-made torpedo — called the "Hoot," or "whale" — has a speed of 223 miles per hour, said Gen. Ali Fadavi, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards' Navy. That would make it about three or four times faster than a normal torpedo and as fast as the world's known fastest, the Russian-made VA-111 Shkval, developed in 1995. It was not immediately known if the Hoot was based on the Shkval.' Reuters via Khaleej Times: 'Iran said on Sunday it had test fired what it described as the world’s fastest underwater missile during a week of war games in the Gulf, Iranian state television reported. “The world’s fastest underwater missile was successfully test fired on the third day of the ’Holy Prophet war games’,” state television reported in a caption without giving a source or details.' (various)

Iran test-fires stealth missile. The Iranian military also fired a new missile last week, which it claims can evade radar detection. Fox: ' Iran successfully test-fired a missile that can avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads, the military said Friday. Gen. Hossein Salami, the air force chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards, did not specify the missile's range, saying it depends on the weight of its warheads. But state-run television described the weapon as "ballistic" — suggesting it's of comparable range to Iran's existing ballistic rocket, which can travel 1,250 miles and reach arch-foe Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East. "Today, a remarkable goal of the Islamic Republic of Iran's defense forces was realized with the successful test-firing of a new missile with greater technical and tactical capabilities than those previously produced," Salami said on state-run television. It showed a clip of the launch of what it called the Fajr-3, with "fajr" meaning "victory" in Farsi.' The article does not state whether Iran's claims have been verified, but this post at Debka notes that 'British generals will examine Iran’s successful test of a Fajr-3 multiple warhead missile that can reach Israel, that was carried out undetected by US or Israel radar Friday, March 31. It was launched on the first day of a large-scale Iranian exercise in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman [emphasis added - aa].' (Fox, Debka)

COMMENTARY. Thanks to Homeboy Randy for bringing The Sub Report to our attention. Currently, The Sub Report links to Molten Eagle's post on the Shkval and Shkval-2.
The Peoples Republic of China reportedly bought 40 Shkval rocket torpedoes from Kazakhstan.[71] in 1998. An improved version of the Shkval may be capable of a 300 knots speed (345 mph). [70] France, the U.S., and Germany have also undertaken supercavitating torpedo development.

With a range of at least 3 to 4 miles, Shkval torpedoes reduce reaction times to travel that distance from 3 minutes to perhaps 40 seconds. The swiftest traditional undersea technologies, in contrast, are limited to a maximum of about 80 mph. Scientific American published an article Warp Drive Underwater in 2001: When the Russian submarine K-141 Kursk sank last August, rumors surfaced of mysterious blasts sending the huge sub to the bottom of the Barents Sea and that this was somehow connected to testing an ultrahigh-speed torpedo. "Several months earlier, when American businessman Edmond Pope was arrested in Moscow on charges of espionage, it was said that he had been trying to buy the plans for an ultrahigh-speed torpedo."

Wikipedia's entry on the Shkval-2 (the latest weapon test-fired by Iran) is still more daunting:
The VA-111 Shkval (from Russian: ????? - "squall") torpedo and its descendants are supercavitating torpedoes developed by the Russian Navy. They are capable of speeds in excess of 200 knots (approximately 360 km/h) and are considered far deadlier than any standard torpedo system fielded by NATO.
Design and capabilities

Design began in the 1960s when the NII-24 research institute was ordered to produce a new weapon system capable of combatting nuclear submarines. In 1969, the GSKB-47 would merge with NII-24 to create the Research Institute of Applied Hydromechanics; the Shkval would be a product of this merger.
Deployed in the early 1990s but in fact operational before this, the Shkval is designed as a countermeasure against torpedoes launched by undetected enemy submarines. It may also be used as a counter to incoming torpedoes whereby it is launched at the enemy submarine, forcing it to evade, and hopefully cutting the guidance wire to its torpedo in the process.
With a much greater speed than conventional torpedoes, the VA-111s speed far supersedes that of any standard torpedo currently fielded by NATO. This speed is a result of supercavitation, where the torpedo is actually gliding through a thin air bubble. As the torpedo travels, the water around it is literally vaporized and forms many small bubbles of gas around the body of the projectile; significantly reducing drag and allowing for extremely high speeds. In effect, the Shkval is an underwater missile.
Launched from 533 mm torpedo tubes, the VA-111 exits the tube at 50 knots. Shortly after, its rocket ignites and propells it to speeds of up to 200 knots (some reports indicate speeds of 250+ knots may be achieved). Guidance was non-existent in initial designs, although the Russians are now advocating a new homing model.
Recently, other countries have set to work on their own supercavitating torpedo designs. The U.S. and Germany both have such programs, the latter having produced a prototype as of 2004 named the Barracuda. It is claimed that China has purchased 40 examples of the VA-111 system from Russia, although these claims have yet to be officially verified.

The regime in Tehran has its hands full with domestic unrest. The Baluchis of Sistan-o-Baluchistan province, Sunni Muslims, are led by Abdol-Maalek Rigui in their guerilla campaign against the regime. Meanwhile, the Arabs of Khuzestan, under their spiritual leader Shobeir Khaghani, have repeatedly attacked Iran's vital oil pipelines. Kurds are clashing with regime forces in places like Sanandaj, Baneh, Mahabad, Marivan and Dardasht; the Turcoman minority in Khorasan are increasingly discontented. Finally, some Azeri separatists are clamoring for annexation to Azerbaijan. It would not be surprising if the US and Britain were supplying covert aid to some or all of these groups.

Tehran would probably prefer to wait Washington out, but it is increasingly coming to the realization that it cannot afford to do so. The regime's new weapons are formidable, but the rush to deploy them hints at desperation.
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