Israel Has Prepared for Possible Iranian Nuclear Strike for Years, May Have Developed Its Own Bunker Buster
“JERUSALEM – For more than a decade, Israel has systematically built up its military specifically for a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. It has sent its air force on long-distance training missions, procured American-made ‘bunker-busting’ bombs and bolstered its missile defenses.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s threats to strike Iran, voiced last week during a high-profile visit to the White House, were not empty bluster. Although a unilateral Israeli attack would probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program, it appears capable, at least for now, of inflicting a serious blow.
‘If Israel attacks, the intention is more to send a message of determination, a political message instead of a tactical move,’ said Yiftah Shapir, a former Israeli air force officer who is now a military analyst at the INSS think tank in Tel Aviv.
Israel, along with the United States and other Western countries, believes Iran has taken key steps toward developing nuclear weapons. The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency has cited this concern in reports, but notes its inspectors have found no direct evidence that Iran is moving toward an atomic weapon.
Israeli leaders, however, argue that time is quickly running out. They have grown increasingly vocal in their calls for tough concerted international action against Iran while stressing they are prepared to act alone if necessary.
Israeli defense officials believe Iran is capable of producing highly enriched weapons-grade uranium within six months. After that, it would require another year or two to develop a means of delivering a nuclear bomb, they predict.
But Israel believes the window to act will close much sooner than that.” Read more.
Israel develops its own bunker buster – “Israel has developed an improved precision, bunker-burrowing weapon which Israeli Military Industries (IMI) unveiled on March 6. The 500-pound MPR-500 is an electro-optical (laser-guided) bomb that can penetrate double-reinforced concrete walls or floors without breaking apart. The bomb was shown in action penetrating four reinforced concrete walls with fragmentation from the explosion limited to a radius of less than three meters. The new weapon is designed as an upgrade for the US Mk82 in Israel Air Force stocks. ‘The lethality, precision… and relatively low weight of the new weapon,’ say its manufacturers, ‘enable its use against multiple targets in a single pass.’ After blowing the first hole in the targeted underground site, the next bombs continue to extend and deepen it.” Read more.