Thursday, August 10, 2006

Next time it will be the air force

Let me make another grim prophecy here... When I first heard about Israeli tank being hit in Lebanon I tried to find out if it was Magah, or Merkava. See, if it was Magah everything is self explanatory: the tank is old and not very protected. However, Merkava is a very well protected vehicle, one of the best in the world. To my surprise it turned out to be Merkava. Since than many tanks have been hit in Lebanon, and we already know the reason: Hezbollah is using very advanced Russian anti-tank rocket launchers Vampire. Where do all those Vampires come from? They are produced by a Russian firm "Bazalt" and are delivered via Syria. Moreover, all the famous "Iranian" rockets fired at Israeli cities are also either produced or engineered in Russia: Fajr-3 is Russian Uragan, Fajr-5 is Russian Smerch, Zeizal-2 is Russian Luna-M.

And now to the prediction. Apparently, Russian army is replacing it's older but still very potent anti-aircraft rocket systems C-300. One of those took down a passenger plain with a bunch of Israelies over the Black Sea some years ago (that one was Ukrainian C-300). The new systems coming in are C-400, but it is the C-300 that worry me. Russian army includes 35 regiments (!) of those little toys on big tracks, and they are all going to be replaced in a process that starts now. Where will the C-300s go? I won't be surprised if in the next war IAF will start suffering losses from ground fire, just like today Merkava do.


Irina Tsukerman said...

Well, I have 2 questions.

1) Um, shouldn't Israel start upgrading its tanks in response to the new technology?

2) Does Israel have similar weaponry? Because I've heard on the news that it DOESN"T, and it's bothering me.

Yury Puzis said...

1) Easy to say, hard to do. If those are Merkava 5 tanks it's already state of the art. Obviously newer models must be in development, but it will take a while. Moreover, some things simply cannot be fixed. When tank gets hit dozens of times, the armor will eventualy be breached (and I hear that is exactly what happens in Lebanon). You also can't protect tank from any angle. If you make the angle of the armor give better defence against frontal hits, you are compromising vertically aimed hits

2) Doesn't matter if Israel has it or not. Hezbolah has no tanks that need to be destroyed.

Irina Tsukerman said...

2) Actually, they might need it for future wars. Who knows, perhaps one day they'll be up against the enemy with tanks.

Yury Puzis said...

True. Maybe sobody should order a shipment of Vampires :)

Irina Tsukerman said...

Er... weren't you one with your old nickname? ; ) You should know something about that!

Yury Puzis said...

LOL, yeah, now that you mention it... :)