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British Sailors Captured By Iran

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Barmy Army, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yeah! Give 'em some credit! I mean it's not like they'd let themselves be captured at sea and be humiliated by the Iranians! And even if they did, they sure as hell wouldn't let it happen again! No siree! :lol:
     
  2. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Nice to see the admin's mature enough to not look for bites ;) . Have to try a bit harder than that to wind me up these days, our kid :thumb: .
     
  3. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Not trying to wind you up; just tweakin' your nose ;)
     
  4. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Harriers are splendid naval planes for they can operate from smaller carriers in much heavier seas than conventional carrier aircraft can.

    Ironically, had the Brits still had their larger old carriers with the more capable aircraft they wouldn't have been able to operate in the rotten weather of the South Atlantic in the Falklands at all, and had probably lost their fleet to Argentinian airstrikes.

    Besides, the Brits are about to get the more advanced US F-35 VSTOL variant if I'm not mistaken, and that would be a much more modern and capable aircrraft than the Harrier.

    As for 1st Lieutenant killer: Today IR guided missiles are probably the #1 aircraft killer. In the first Gulf war and later the Marines learned that the Harrier has his hot exaust nozzles right in midst of the fuselage is not only a 'hot' infrared target, but if hit, the damage is right at the center of the airframe, often with catastrophic effect. A hit that would damage an F-18's tail, would kill an AV-8B Harrier. Thus the bad rep. For getting down and dirty for close air support, it's primary role, the Harrier is still highly effective and highly regarded. And in dogfighting the thrust vectoring allows for some nasty tricks. Add to that a modern missile and a helmet mounted display and you have a formidable dogfighter.
     
  5. Duffin Gems: 13/31
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    I'm with Barmy on this one (surprise, surprise) your not telling me some jumped up Iranian navy and airforce is going to even contest with THE Royal Navy. Don't make me laugh man. We'll make mince meat of them and be back for tea and scones by 6.
     
  6. jaded empath Gems: 20/31
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    Wow, this thread looks like just the place to keep myself warm in spite of the 'Sheila's Brush' storm pending to dump on my locale in the next day; I think I'll chip into the discussion.

    ...or crippled the USS Stark...'puny' - ha.


    1000kg? Sounds like it'd even do some havoc to a 'real' carrier...oh, maybe Nimitz-class? Good thing those rusting ol' rockets don't have the range to reach out and spank the 'running-dog imperialist pigs' stationed safely out further...


    Of course, that would also deny Iran any trade via goods or products transported by ship; well funded? Not for long if they decide to cut their own throat along with everyone else's...

    Since they'd probably be Iranian vessels trying to clear the strait for their own commerce. But Iran used to have British advisers hanging around all the time - they must have picked up some politeness and decency and honor during that time...

    And that's where the American falls flat on his face - he limits his thinking to just technology.

    Actually they do, but it's a force not based on big, expensive and shiny toys - you might have heard of the Special Boat Service? Some men, some rubber rafts, some wire cutters, some explosives and some knives and those vaunted ship-killer missiles won't get fired.

    Ground the aircraft because the airstrip's been mined, or the fuel supply's been tainted, causing several aircraft to rip their engines apart. Or sundry other means of sabotaging those capable, expensive (and hard-to-maintain) aircraft...

    ...or even go for the weakest part of an air warfare 'platform' - the pilot. A knife at the throat while they sleep, or an incendiary grenade in the pilot's dorm. Or heck, don't even kill anyone - just introduce amoebic dysentery to the water supplies of these airfields and missile sites. (It IS a desert, don'cha know)

    I challenge anyone to operate a jet aircraft in combat conditions and accomplish their goals whilst suffering from...err...the symptoms of dysentery. :aww: Or even performing routine maintenance with same circumstances - maybe the technicians would be more valuable targets? Good thing they all drink from the same well/bowser/water cooler.

    S'funny that you called to light the very weakness I'd exploit, lack of infrastructure to quickly replace all those fancy toys - America can do that with it's many factories and assembly plants; training the skilled personnel to operate and maintain the gear is harder, but with over three hundred million, it's still not a crippling difficulty. Iran has seventy million, so it's not THAT much worse off getting people, but with GDP differences of $610 billion versus $13 trillion? Heck even little ol' Britain (with ten million fewer citizens than Iran) has a $two trillion GDP...

    Which is just fine if you keep thinking conventionally, but sometimes it's better to put away the sledgehammer and take out a screwdriver...
     
  7. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    You expect the Special Boat Service to cripple Iran's airforce and missile sites?

    You don't think that's a little optimistic?
     
  8. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Ok first off Iran imports 40% of its gasoline (petrol), and only has one refinery, so crippling its economy and ability to fight really isn't that big of a deal...cut off and contain until they run out of avgas and they lose all air superiority, then force them into a running war and soon the tanks will be out of fuel as well.

    Second, the Brits could take down the entire Iranian air-force with a squadron of F-4 Phantoms. BS? Not really, considering that the Iranians would be flying blind deaf and dumb while being jammed and the Brits would have full intelligence thanks to the US providing AWACS support (either openly or in the black, but either way we would). I don't care how well trained you are, when you face the US's arsenal of jamming devices and the AWACS ability to locate enemy aircraft and coordinate air battle you are in trouble.

    That said...it will not come to this.

    The Iranians are going to milk this for all they can, and then in the end they will hand over the Brits and it will turn out that they have been treated well because the Iranians simply are not ready for full war with the West yet...they have too much to lose and they won't gain anything significant. Don't get me wrong...I believe they want to hurt us and hurt as bad, but this is just an opportunity to force negotiations and embarrass us. The Iranians will take as much advantage of it as we let them, and then give up the prisoners once they have nothing more to gain.
     
  9. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Funny, how it always comes down to oil. Maybe it is time to seal up the cursed Straits and just let everything inside there just rot for a while. That way we can see how all those ME countries can get on without all those Western oil bucks. It's time for the West to get off the "gasoline addiction."
     
  10. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    i was speaking to a mate of mine last night, he's been in the navy for 6 years, and he's looking forward to a war.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    But the Marines use the Harrier as a jump-jet. The whole allure of the Harrier is that it can take off by going straight up - it doesn't need a runway like a traditional aircraft. That certainly helps if you don't happen to have a carrier or runway handy, but the Harrier's main advantage is its utility, not it's fighting prowess. I can't imagine that even the Marines still use the Harrier as it's primary attack aircraft.

    Well then why doesn't somebody identify which type of Harriers were talking about with some type of numeric system to differentiate between them? That's what the US does. Going back to the 1970s, by my count we have developed and used no less than seven different types of attacks planes:

    F-14 (Tomcat - made famous in the movie Top Gun)
    F-15 (Strike Eagle)
    F-16 (Fighting Falcon)
    F-17 (Cobra)
    F-18 (Hornet)
    F-20 (Tigershark)
    And most recently, the F-22 Raptor which just went into full service in 2005. I'm assuming that F-19s and F-21s exist even though I didn't put them on the list. The reason I excluded them is I have never heard of them in use in the USAF. Perhaps there was a problem in their design, or perhaps they are still in development. I seriously doubt they just decided to skip those two numbers, but I'm not overly inclined to do a search for them, and even if they do exist, they are currently not major players in the USAF attack arsenal.

    Now obviously, all of these planes go through upgrades throughout the years, and even though the development of some of the planes on that list goes back to the 1970s, the only one of them that I know for sure that is retired is the F-14 Tomcat. But just because we upgrade them doesn't mean new fighter planes aren't in design.

    It takes an incredibly long time to fully develop a fighter - 10-15 years is typical. It's not unusual for 5 years to go by before the first prototype is produced, and then another 5-10 years for design improvements, and then manufacturing enough of them, and then training the pilots in their use before they go into active service. The ironic part is that by the time a fighter plane gets into active service, technology usually allows for something better, which is why there are usually tons of different fighters in service at any given time. That's why I have no idea what type of plane you mean when you just say "harrier". The same ones built in the 60s and 70s with modern upgrades or an entirely different design like with American F-14 through F-22 versions?
     
  12. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Barmy: I am not anti-British (hell, my grandmother's maiden name was Windsor). It's just that there is no more emperial navy. The British has chosen to put money into things like health care and social reform instead of a military. As such, they have taken a lesser role in defense (but still a vital role worldwide). Although the Royal Navy is quite capable of putting a hurting on somebody, Iran is just a little too big to tackle alone for anyone.

    Aldeth: The Harrier basic design hasn't changed much. They've made the engine a little more powerful, given better stabilization to the vertical launch capability and upgraded the electronics (which allows for more modern weapon systems) -- unfortunately, the overall manueverability has only improved a little. The Harrier, in general, has a difficult time in a dog fight with more modern attack planes.

    Ragusa: The Harrier earned its nickname because it is quite tricky to do a vertical launch. Inexperienced pilots can get into trouble real fast during takeoff -- and flip the Harrier onto its canopy, killing the pilot (usually an inexperienced 1st Lieutenant).

    Most military experts would disagree with your assessment of the Harriers ability to launch during incliment weather -- an F/A-18 can launch off a Nimitz class carrier in near-hurricane conditions (I've seen it done). The Harriers off a Wasp class cannot (and I believe the Wasp is the same size as the Invincible class).

    Everything I've read about the Falklands indicates a single US carrier battlegroup (with Nimitz class carrier and a Ticonderoga class cruiser) would have stopped Argentina cold. One of the problems was lack of adequate surface-to-air firepower as the Royal Navy was geared mainly for anti-submarine warfare. Another problem was the Harrier simply could not match the Argentinian aircraft in a dog fight -- fortunately the Argentina Air Force could only fight 10 minutes before needing to refuel (it kept the British casualties down). The threat of a submarine kept the Argentinian Navy bottled up in port (they really have no anti-submarine warfare capability). Had they actually braved the waters, the Argentinian Navy would have routed the Royal Navy -- as there really wasn't a submarine in the area. It was a great ploy on the part of the British to ensure the victory though.

    You are dead on about the vectoring -- it's the chief attack/defense maneuver that allows the Harrier to survive in a dog fight (but it's becoming less and less of an advantage with computer targeting).

    Jaded Empath: Perhaps you should study a little about Naval Forces and weapon systems or even littoral warfare (Iran history and capabilities would be good to check out too). Your arguments have too many holes to really respond to.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Which was basically my point - the Brits are still using *that* as their primary attack plane?
     
  14. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    There are always ifs, buts and maybes in every war. History remembers the facts of the war, and they are as follows (according to Wiki... I've seen varying figures, but all are the same sort of ball park):

    Argentinian dead: 649
    British dead: 258
    Argentinians prisoners: 11313
    British prisoners: 59

    That's a strong, strong victory which is hard to be knocked.

    They do, they have 'GR' numbers to differentiate. The GR9 (the latest one) is a wicked plane! It's mint as hell. I'm sure it's quite capable of beating any planes Iran can rustle up.

    It's mostly to do with the quality of the soldiers though. I've been told that British soldiers (especially the special services) are the best in the world in terms of tactics, training and most importantly, discipline.

    I'm pretty confident Britain would beat Iran in a war. I'm sure they can not match us military wise, and their terrain isn't the same sort of death trap as Vietnam was.

    I'm absolutely positive we will NOT go to war though. Blair is on his last legs and will most likely be replaced by Gordon Brown. Brown will be keen to show he's not a warmongering Blair clone, so will not get involved in any wars, even if America asked us very nicely again. We'd CERTAINLY not follow America into any more wars if the Torie's got in charge. Add onto that the fact that there's nothing to be gained from a war with Iran. What would be the point? We'd have everything to lose and nothing to gain. All for the sake of a few sailors who lost their way a bit? Nah.
     
  15. Daie d'Malkin

    Daie d'Malkin Shoulda gone to Specsavers

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    This is a very awesome quote, Barmy.
     
  16. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Somebody correct me if I am wrong here, but I thought that the Harrier was a close battle support craft...tank killing, convoy bombing, kind of a faster heli gunship role, not a main attack craft? Are the Brits using Hurricanes for their main attack aircraft?

    To me there are 4 kinds of armed military aircraft, interceptors, air superiority, attack craft, and close battle support. I know there are a lot of aircraft that cross lines...the F15 was and air superiority craft that turned out to be a good platform for an attack craft(or even act as an interceptor), while the F16 was designed to be an air superiority fighter that could a good job at close battle support, a decent job intercepting, and even could cross into attack craft, though it didn't have the lift to be a true attack aircraft. Of course some of these aircraft were specially outfitted for different roles (the F15-E being a great example) but I was speaking of the aircraft's abilities across models/versions.

    Because of the the lack of lifting potential I don't see the Harrier as an attack craft, but more as a close battle support.

    As a side not, I knew a couple of Marine pilots that claimed the Harrier could handle any air to air action that came along, at least until the 14s were vectored in to waste whatever was attacking them...but that might have been semper fi bravado. and it was back in the early '90s.
     
  17. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Iran has a lot of aircraft:

    47 F-4's
    50 F-5's
    20 F-14's (which according to very recent web-intel 14 ARE operational -- this is new to me)
    18 MiG-19's
    20 MiG-21's
    39 MiG-29's (capable of greater than Mach II)
    24 Mirage F1's

    They are also believed to have MiG-27's. That's just fighter aircraft -- they have numerous assault helicopters (one Apache helicopter can mission kill a destroyer) and attack aircraft. Iran also has one of the most extensive anti-aircraft missile systems known in the world.

    Combine that with an military of nearly 550,000 (many are IRGC) and excellent heavy artillary support (along with M-60, T-55 and Chieftain tanks), this would be no walk in the park.

    DW: You're right, the Harrier is considered a 'light combat fighter' -- unfortunately, it is the only Naval based fighter aircraft in the British arsenal at this time.
     
  18. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    "Bit of background: As a ship transits through the Straits of Hormuz a passing glance on the right reveals a few heavily defended missile sites."

    Am I the only one who thinks that what you see from a passing ship (whatever the source is) might not be the best indication of what the Iranians have? Ok, this presumes that the Iranian military has a few brains around, but in that case they might have the idea of making their missile batteries less obtrusive. A few years ago, the Serbs pulled off a decent job making sure that a large part of their army stayed intact during the Kosovo campaign because they had done their homework in camouflage and decoys. Likewise, fake fortifications were afaik employed on the pre-1941 border between Germany and the USSR. If the Iranians have been worrying about war, they might have decided to take some precautions along these lines.

    Iran's bigger problem (imo) is to what degree its equipment is fit for combat. Having 200 planes on paper is little good if 70 have been cannibalized for spare parts and the rest are in deep freeze (frequent problem for many armies). Of course, this presumes they haven't been getting new material from Russia, but so far I've heard only of anti-ship missiles. All in all, if Iran has been able to get its army in decent shape (geez, it's not as if they were lulled in a fake sense of security given the rhetoric in the last 3-4 years), it won't be a walk in the park for anyone. However, I think the UK could inflict some serious damage without too much casualties - as long as it doesn't invade.
     
  19. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Actually, Bruno, I think you'll find they have 23 Mirage F1's!

    Seriously though, how can you know exactly what they have and don't have? How can anyone? Is this from the same intelligence group who told us that Iraq had WMD's?

    It would be no 'walk in the park', but we'd beat them. I don't see how we could fail to, provided we didn't do any stupid things...
     
  20. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Yuck, that is definitely a weakness.

    As far as the rest of their military, again, cutting off the supply of gasoline to Iran shouldn't be difficult, unless Russia decides to back them.

    Of course it depends on your goals...do you want to occupy, destroy their ability to wage war, or just punish them? You could cripple Iran economically and militarily with little immediate risk or cost (relatively speaking), however you would definitely see another spike in the numbers of recruits to terrorist organizations. If you want to occupy and drive them to submission I am afraid that the Brits just don't have the resources. Even the US would have to move to a war time economy to pull this off. That or find a quite a few allies...good luck with that. :rolleyes:
     
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