THE NEW BOMB THREAT
THE NEW BOMB THREAT
Terrorism has truly gone global today. The threat is real and ominous because today’s terrorists are not only trained and well equipped with sophisticated arms and ammunition, but they are also coming up with new terror plots using modern science and technology. Instead of airplanes, rocket launchers, missiles, and submarines, terrorists could next be relying upon single-celled microorganisms as biological weapons to cause mass destruction of human life.
Biological weapons are microorganisms or biologically derived bioactive substances that infect and grow in the target host causing illness that kills or incapacitates the victim. Such microorganisms may be natural, wild-type strains, or special genetically engineered organisms. Biologically derived substances include biological toxins, as well as substances that interfere with normal behavior, such as hormones, neuropeptides, and cytokines.
Bacterial Bioweapons Harming Humans
Coxiella burnetii Bartonella Quintana
Rickettsia prowasecki Rickettsia rickettsii
Bacillus anthracis Brucella abortus
Brucella melitensis Brucella suis
Chlamydia psittaci Clostridium botulinum
Francisella tularensis Burkholderia mallei (Pseudomonas mallei)
Burkholderia pseudomallei Salmonella typhi
Shigella dysenteriae Vibrio cholerae
Yersinia pest/s Clostridium perfringens
Clostridium tetani Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia col
Legionella pneumophila Yersinia pseudotuberculosis
Bacterial Bioweapons Harming Animals
Mycoplasma mycoides Bacillus anthracis
Bacterial Bioweapons Harming Plants
Xanthomonas albilineans Xanthomonas campestris pv. Citri,
Xanthomonas campestris pv. Xylella fastidiosa
Viral Pathogens Harming Humans
Chikungunya Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever
Dengue fever Eastern equine encephalitis
Junin Lassa fever
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis Machupo
Marburg Monkey pox
Rift Valley fever Tick-borne encephalitis
Variola Venezuelan equine encephalitis
Western equine encephalitis White pox
Yellow fever Japanese encephalitis
Kyasanur Forest Louping ill
Murray Valley encephalitis Omsk haemorrhagic fever
Rocio St. Louis encephalitis
Viral Pathogens Harming Animals
African swine fever Avian influenza virus 2
Bluetongue Foot and mouth disease
Goat pox Herpes
Hog cholera Lyssa
Newcastle disease Swine vesicular disease
Rinderpest Sheep pox
Teschen disease Vesicular stomatitis
Biological weapons may target soldiers and non-combatants, commercial crops and animals, water supply, soil, air or any combination of these. The list of well known bacterial and viral bioweapons is exhaustive.
A variety of protozoan species Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia are also common water-borne pathogens capable of producing large natural epidemics. These protozoans have resting forms that render them resistant to environmental stress and common water purification treatments. The parasites also qualify as biological weapons as they could pollute water and food supply of a region.
Most biological weapon grade microorganisms are relatively easy and inexpensive to grow. Their production does not require large factories like other sophisticated weapons. Though viral agents are a bit difficult to grow as compared to bacterial or fungal agents, all these microorganisms can be grown by individuals with limited scientific training and minimal laboratory requirements. Besides, the basic knowledge for growing a majority of biological weapon grade microbes is freely available and the equipment and chemicals are obtainable from dozens of suppliers around the world.
CSS-5 MRBM MISSILE
INTRODUCTION: The DongFeng 21 (DF-21, NATO code name: CSS-5) is a two-stage, solid-propellant, single-warhead medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) system developed by China Changfeng Mechanics and Electronics Technology Academy (also known as 2nd Space Academy). Developed from the JuLang 1 (JL-1) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the DF-21 was originally intended for strategic missions but its later variants were designed for both nuclear and conventional missions. The latest DF-21 D was said to be the world’s first and only anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) system. The DF-21 has also been developed into space launcher and anti-satellite/anti-missile weapon carrier.
IN NEWS: China has deployed more advanced and survivable solid-fuel nuclear capable CSS-5 MRBM missiles against India as a ‘deterrent posture’. The PLA has replaced liquid-fuelled, nuclear-capable CSS-2 I IRBMs with more advanced and survivable solid-fuelled CSS-5 MRBM systems to strengthen its deterrent posture relative to India.
The Fateh-110 (meaning “the conqueror” in Arabic & Persian), is a single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile with at least a 200 km range, and it is produced domestically within Iran, including the solid fuel propellant. Iran successfully flight tested the final version of the Fateh-110 in September, 2002. Initial range of the missile was 200km but in September 2004 it was announced that it had been extended to 250 km and if needed it could be increased further. It has three sets of fins. Four in the end of it, four other triangular shaped fins just above them and four small ones in front of missile.
QADER (IRAN CRUISE MISSILE)
The cruise missile dubbed Qader (Capable) is a surface-to-sea weapon and has a range of more than 200 km. It has been hailed as a projectile undetectable by the most advanced radar systems and one of a destructive power enough to sink any large battleship.
The missile, which owes its design, manufacturing and mass production all to Iranian experts, can function as a surface-to-sea, air-to-sea, and sea-to-sea projectile and can be used against large battleships and aircraft carriers, as well as coastal facilities.
The intelligent missile is also fitted with digital autopilot option and anti-jamming radar technology and is capable of detecting and hitting targets at low depths. The missile is built indigenously by Iranian scientists and has a high destructive ability against coastal targets and warships.
IN NEWS: Western world feels that the new spurt in missile development will augment Iranian capability of causing a blockade in the Strait of Hormuz.
HATF 2 MISSILE
Alternate Name: Abdali
Basing: Road mobile
Length: 6.50 m
Diameter: 0.56 m
Launch Weight: 1750 kg
Payload: Single warhead, 250 to 450 kg
Warhead: HE, chemical, submunitions
Propulsion: Single-stage solid
Range: 180-200 km
In Service: 2005
DEVELOPMENT: The original Hatf-2 missile started development in 1987 and was first displayed in 1989. The program was cancelled in 1994 after the purchase of M-11 missiles. The program was restarted with a new design in 1997 and flight tested in May 2002, March 2005, and February 2006. Reports suggest additional test firings in June 2006 and March 2007. It is believed that the missile first entered service in 2005.
DETAILS: The Hatf-2 is a short-range, road mobile, solid propellant missile. The Hatf-2 was originally designed as the two-stage version of the Hatf-1, essentially a solid-propellant stage attached to the bottom of a Hatf-1. However, the program was cancelled in 1994, likely due to the purchase of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) M-11 missiles that rendered development of the Hatf-2 uneconomical. A new design for the Hatf-2 was started in 1997, presumably to supplement the limited numbers of M-11 missiles purchased. The Hatf-2 is similar in size and shape to the Argentinian Alacran short-range ballistic missile and the Chinese TY-3 research rocket.
SPECIFICATIONS: The Hatf-2 provides a longer range missile for use against military targets. Its relatively small warhead makes it impractical for deployment against civilian population centres, though it could be used to disrupt city operations, i.e. power plants and factories. Its accuracy is sufficient for use against military targets such as bases or airfields. An upgraded guidance system would significantly increase the accuracy to the point where it might be of use against specific military units and not just a small area. It is carried on a road mobile Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) vehicle. The use of solid propellant and the TEL vehicle make the missile easy to store, transport and fire.
The Hatf-2 has a range of 180-200 km and an accuracy of 150 m CEP. It is currently equipped with an inertia) guidance system, but if it were equipped with a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system or terminal guidance, its accuracy could likely be improved to 30 m CEP. It is estimated to be equipped with a variable payload between 250 and 450 kg and can probably carry a single high explosive or submunition warheads. It is believed to have a launch weight of 1,750 kg. It uses a single-stage solid propellant engine and has a length of 6.5 m and a width of 0.56 m.
IN NEWS: Pakistan successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable Hatf-II short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, in March, that can hit targets in India as part of the process of validating its land-based missile systems.
HATF 7 CRUISE MISSILE
Alternate Name: Babur
Length: 6.2 m
Diameter: 0.52 m
Wingspan: 2.5 m
Launch Weight: 1500 kg
Payload: 450 kg
Range: 700 km
Guidance: INS/GPS, terrain reference, IIR
DETAILS: The Hatf 7 is a short-range, air-, ground-, ship- and submarine-launched, turbojet powered, single warhead, cruise missile.
DEVELOPMENT: Development may have started in the 1990s as a response to the Indian cruise missile program. Little is known with certainty about the missile, but it seems to be based on the United States’ RGM/UGM-109 Tomahawk. Some Tomahawk missiles may have been recovered and reverse-engineered by Pakistani engineers. The engine may be based on the Tomahawk, but it also seems likely that it is based on the Russian AS-15, the Russian SS-N-27 Club, or a Chinese turbojet design.
When the missile was first tested in 2005, it was announced that the missile had a range of 500 km, In 2007 the publicly announced range was increased to 700 km. Future improvements are expected to extend the missile’s range to around 1000 km. Midflight guidance probably relies on INS with GPS or Glonass updates and a terrain-reference system; terminal guidance may use an infrared or active radar seeker. The missile can likely achieve an accuracy between 20 and 50 m CEP.
The known launch vehicles have all been mobile, land-based platforms. It is believed that air, ship, and submarine-launch versions will be developed in the future. Current design allows for a near-vertical launch, projecting the missile to a height of 600 m. Once the missile has reached 600 m, it turns over and travels on a level course between 100 and 200 m above ground, using an altimeter to stay parallel with the landscape.
Sources indicate that the first flight test was planned for August 2004, however the first confirmed flight test did not occur until August 2005. Subsequent tests were made in March 2006, March 2007, July 2007, December 2007, and February 2011. Production may have begun in 2006.
IRON DOME SYSTEM
INTRODUCTION: The Iron Dome is an effective and innovative mobile defence solution for countering short range rockets and 155 mm artillery shell threats with ranges of up to 70 km in all weather conditions, including low clouds, rain, dust storms or fog. The system uses a unique interceptor with a special warhead that detonates any target in the air within seconds.
- Vertically launched interceptor
- Highly effective warhead and proximity fuse
- Mobile launcher
- Integration with various radar and detection sys
- The Iron Dome radar detects and identifies the rocket or artillery shell launch and monitors its trajectory.
- Target data is transmitted to the Battle Management Weapon Control (BMC) for processing.
- The threat’s trajectory is quickly analyzed and the expected .impact point is estimated.
- If the estimated rocket trajectory poses a critical threat, a command is given within seconds and an interceptor is launched against the threat.
- The interceptor receives trajectory updates from the BMC via uplink communication.
- The interceptor approaches the target and uses its radar seeker to acquire the target and guides the interceptor within passing distance.
- The target warhead is detonated over a neutral area, therefore reducing collateral damage to the protected area.
- Cost effective solution
- Day/night and all weather operation
- Successful handling of simultaneous firing (concentrated salvos) of a large number of threats
- Effective discrimination and handling of threats
- Very high percent success rate in intercepting incoming shells and rockets
- Reduced collateral damage to the protected area
WHY IN NEWS: Israel would deploy a battery of Iron Dome rocket interceptors at a southern frontier town opposite Egypt, a move that follows cross-border attacks in the area. Israeli media reported that it was the first time the interceptors, which have been used against Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, were being set up at Eilat, near Israel’s borders with Egypt and Jordan.