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Analysis Of Recent Attack On Saudi Arabian Oil Facility


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No system is proof. Just because you have defenses doesn't mean your nation can't retaliate.

 

Honestly, in our situation, I think defensive systems for civilian and defence infrastructure in the UK would be a complete waste of money and we should go all in on survivable retaliatory systems. The cost balance is currently overwhelmingly in favour of the attacker and is likely to remain so for a very long time. The only caveat to that is that you need someone to retaliate against for deterrence to work.

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The US is developing a road mobile hypersonic missile with a 3000km range. First fire from a test battery is scheduled for 2023. Wait for the Yanks to get it working then buy it bulk or license it. Even Trump would probably let you buy at cost, and most any other politician would practically give it too you to help salvage the special relationship and as a Pershing II style deterrent.

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Is Iron dome anti-CM? I thought it was primarily a cheap means of engaging inexpensive ballistic munitions?

It was SUPPOSED to be an inexpensive means of engaging ballistic munitions. But it was not completely dumbed down for that purpose. And because it's supposed to work in extremely short ranges as well, going from a maximum of claimed 70km to an extremely low 3km, it's exceptionally kinematic.

 

On top of that, tests had shown it can defeat targets at least as high as 10km, but further tests to check where the limit is were never made public, or whether they really occurred.

 

Over the years Rafael made efforts to increase the mission set of this system.

 

It's now a C-RAM system that can also defeat air breathing threats, helicopters, cruise missiles, PGMs, small UAVs and other low RCS targets, and can serve as point defense on ships.

 

The US is purchasing numerous Iron Dome batteries as part of the IFPC increment 2 program, which seeks an interim anti-CM solution.

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I think the day of the drone is going to be short. Laser systems are maturing and have the added benefits of small target lead and no worries about falling shrapnel.

 

One difference from Israel to KSA is that KSA is many times larger with very dispensed assets, making them hard to guard. Time for KSA to create a proxy force in Yemen/Iraq and have them bombard Iran's refineries.

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No system is proof. Just because you have defenses doesn't mean your nation can't retaliate.

 

Honestly, in our situation, I think defensive systems for civilian and defence infrastructure in the UK would be a complete waste of money and we should go all in on survivable retaliatory systems. The cost balance is currently overwhelmingly in favour of the attacker and is likely to remain so for a very long time. The only caveat to that is that you need someone to retaliate against for deterrence to work.

 

 

As illustrated by the Gatwick shutdown, its often completely impossible to identify who is doing it. If we wont have systems to shoot them down, we need better methods for detecting and identifying who is sending them. Police drones coupled with low level radar to quickly identify a launch site is a start.

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I think the day of the drone is going to be short. Laser systems are maturing and have the added benefits of small target lead and no worries about falling shrapnel.

 

One difference from Israel to KSA is that KSA is many times larger with very dispensed assets, making them hard to guard. Time for KSA to create a proxy force in Yemen/Iraq and have them bombard Iran's refineries.

 

Yes, but how long is it going to be before people start integrating them with stealth technology? Drones are difficult enough as it is to pick up flying through the weeds (particularly if they are quadcopters). The fixed wing examples strike me as just as viable to make stealthy via intelligent shaping or even RAM. You dont need the high end stuff to make these things more difficult to acquire.

 

 

Well we musnt get too fanciful, its not the day of the drone yet. At the same time, I dont think we should jump the gun and say its easy to defeat.

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Iran threatens to bring down Donald Trump, as it once brought down Jimmy Carter.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9964010/iran-trump-2020-election-carter-hostage-crisis/

 

As Jimmy Carter was replaced by Ronald Reagan, you might think this is none too clear reasoning, but there we are...

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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One thing I was wondering, maybe because I had a long work week, but how did nobody end up killed or injured? If that is even true? Wouldnt those kinds of installations have night security guards and whatnot?

 

Maybe their lives were not worth worrying about, or that they were not able to use their sidearms to stop the attacking craft means that they needed to be liquidated.

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I think the day of the drone is going to be short. Laser systems are maturing and have the added benefits of small target lead and no worries about falling shrapnel.

 

They need line of sight though and there are serious deconfliction issues with a weapon with essentially infinite range. What do you do vs a drone launched against an urban target from within the target area itself? Your laser is potentially going to be hitting all sorts of things you wouldn't want it to. I do believe they are potentially a huge game changer though - particularly where manned aircraft are concerned.

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I really think the US have missed an opportunity by not fitting TACTOM (or at least some TACTOMs) with terminal seekers* like JASSM. Also building a guided submunition variant - one that could deliver say four GBU-54 class weapons, perhaps each with their own DAMASK style seeker, plus a smaller warhead of its own, would be really handy and would give far more flexibility in targeting - a bit like the proposed European Perseus cruise missile.

 

*Assuming of course they haven't already and just not told anyone...

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No system is proof. Just because you have defenses doesn't mean your nation can't retaliate.

 

Honestly, in our situation, I think defensive systems for civilian and defence infrastructure in the UK would be a complete waste of money and we should go all in on survivable retaliatory systems. The cost balance is currently overwhelmingly in favour of the attacker and is likely to remain so for a very long time. The only caveat to that is that you need someone to retaliate against for deterrence to work.

 

 

I agree, but I also predict that in the next decade defensive drones and SAM systems are about to get together, such that something like S-500 or Iron Dome will be controlling hundreds or thousands of defensive drones in the air at one time.

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No system is proof. Just because you have defenses doesn't mean your nation can't retaliate.

 

Honestly, in our situation, I think defensive systems for civilian and defence infrastructure in the UK would be a complete waste of money and we should go all in on survivable retaliatory systems. The cost balance is currently overwhelmingly in favour of the attacker and is likely to remain so for a very long time. The only caveat to that is that you need someone to retaliate against for deterrence to work.

 

 

I agree, but I also predict that in the next decade defensive drones and SAM systems are about to get together, such that something like S-500 or Iron Dome will be controlling hundreds or thousands of defensive drones in the air at one time.

 

 

I'm sure you're right, but you'll still find the cost balance strongly in favour of the attacker, because, given the precision of the drones and the inherent high value and critical nature of unprotected targets, the defender will have to stop all the drones whereas the attacker will only have to get one through. Directed energy weapons may help somewhat, but they have obvious inherent problems, particularly when used against low flying targets in urban environments.

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I think the day of the drone is going to be short. Laser systems are maturing and have the added benefits of small target lead and no worries about falling shrapnel.

 

 

 

Tough to say. Drones can adapt to use nap of the earth tactics. Also, since the attacker picks their moment, some days can be foggy.

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No system is proof. Just because you have defenses doesn't mean your nation can't retaliate.

 

Honestly, in our situation, I think defensive systems for civilian and defence infrastructure in the UK would be a complete waste of money and we should go all in on survivable retaliatory systems. The cost balance is currently overwhelmingly in favour of the attacker and is likely to remain so for a very long time. The only caveat to that is that you need someone to retaliate against for deterrence to work.

 

 

I agree, but I also predict that in the next decade defensive drones and SAM systems are about to get together, such that something like S-500 or Iron Dome will be controlling hundreds or thousands of defensive drones in the air at one time.

 

 

I'm sure you're right, but you'll still find the cost balance strongly in favour of the attacker, because, given the precision of the drones and the inherent high value and critical nature of unprotected targets, the defender will have to stop all the drones whereas the attacker will only have to get one through. Directed energy weapons may help somewhat, but they have obvious inherent problems, particularly when used against low flying targets in urban environments.

 

 

I'm picturing a defensive drone that has an onboard 20mm (or whatever) cannon that the SAM system guides to intercept and it shoot the drone down. The drone then returns to patrol to engage other targets. That way, the cost to the defense is tolerably low. More expensive missiles and lasers engage the leakers, and more and more targets are armored so that the smaller drones cannot destroy them.

 

On the SAM systems themselves, I keep expecting to read that the radars will be broken up into smaller and smaller components, (so, instead of one big air search radar, 30 small ones coordinating to do the same thing). Hasn't happened yet. Must be tough to do.

Edited by glenn239
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SAM systems - and especially their fire control radars - have to end up becoming distributed with each component being relatively inexpensive. Ideally you would have all your sensors networked to data-linked active radar or passive IR homing missiles in inexpensive single, stand alone launchers, widely dispersed through complex terrain or, with soft launch, even buried. The UK has moved toward that goal with its Sky Sabre system, but I have my doubts as to just how many sensor types it's actually going to end up integrated with and I suspect it will just end up being dependent on a small number of Giraffe radars that give it the same inherent vulnerability of most other mid-range SAM systems.

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One thing I was wondering, maybe because I had a long work week, but how did nobody end up killed or injured? If that is even true? Wouldnt those kinds of installations have night security guards and whatnot?

Maybe their lives were not worth worrying about, or that they were not able to use their sidearms to stop the attacking craft means that they needed to be liquidated.

Proobably just Asian slaves, I mean contract workers, and thus less valuable than sand.

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One thing I was wondering, maybe because I had a long work week, but how did nobody end up killed or injured? If that is even true? Wouldnt those kinds of installations have night security guards and whatnot?

Maybe their lives were not worth worrying about, or that they were not able to use their sidearms to stop the attacking craft means that they needed to be liquidated.

Proobably just Asian slaves, I mean contract workers, and thus less valuable than sand.

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Here's the thing with anti-drone systems.

1. How do you avoid shooting down a civilian plane that's flying along? Are there aviation exclusion zones around the area you're defending? You're going to have to have VERY tightly controlled airspace with transponders on EVERYTHING that might fly.

2. WRT drones, are you scanning for anything that's drone sized for say recreational uses and tracking them all? You'll know when they break radar horizon, but given their utility for basic civilian legal tasks, you're going to have to track a lot of info and try to discriminate between each one.

3. Weaponized drones can range from a DJI hobby unit to a large military unit like the Iranians (or anyone else) can make that are essentially moderately sized or even large aircraft. How do you discriminate between those? Blanket ban? It's going to be bad if you shoot down a civilian news helicopter or worse a medivac. How do you differentiate between innocuous vs threat?

Edited by rmgill
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I think the day of the drone is going to be short. Laser systems are maturing and have the added benefits of small target lead and no worries about falling shrapnel.

 

They need line of sight though and there are serious deconfliction issues with a weapon with essentially infinite range. What do you do vs a drone launched against an urban target from within the target area itself? Your laser is potentially going to be hitting all sorts of things you wouldn't want it to. I do believe they are potentially a huge game changer though - particularly where manned aircraft are concerned.

 

I doubt most of the smaller lasers will have infinite range, I suspect the beam diffuses as it's travels. Now that will be an interesting conversation

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I think the day of the drone is going to be short. Laser systems are maturing and have the added benefits of small target lead and no worries about falling shrapnel.

They need line of sight though and there are serious deconfliction issues with a weapon with essentially infinite range. What do you do vs a drone launched against an urban target from within the target area itself? Your laser is potentially going to be hitting all sorts of things you wouldn't want it to. I do believe they are potentially a huge game changer though - particularly where manned aircraft are concerned.

I doubt most of the smaller lasers will have infinite range, I suspect the beam diffuses as it's travels. Now that will be an interesting conversation

 

OK, not infinite, but significant. My understanding is that GBAD lasers are currently only tested against targets on ranges where you can ensure unoccupied terrain in the background.

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