Get PJ Media on your Apple

Belmont Club

The Flight of the Sparrow

September 3rd, 2013 - 9:30 am

No sooner had Russia announced the sailing of the SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye from Sevastopol towards the Eastern Med “on Sunday evening” than Israel claimed “it carried out a ‘joint’ US missile launch in the Mediterranean, having earlier claimed ignorance.”

Israel’s Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency officials conducted the flight test. The main contractor for the integration and development of the Sparrow is Rafael and the main contractor of the Arrow Weapon System is MLM of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in conjunction with Boeing,”

The flight of the Sparrow became a world mystery object for a few hours last night until it’s provenance was acknowledged by Israel and the United States.  The alleged “missile” — the Rafael Sparrow — is a target designed to simulate the trajectories of ballistic missiles Israel might face in an actual war.

Black Sparrow simulates unitary short-range theater Ballistic Missiles such as the SCUD-B. It has performed very successfully in a series of fly-out and interception test missions where various trajectories and re-entry maneuvers, were carried out.

Blue and Silver Sparrow simulates unitary and separable medium to long-range theaters such as SCUD-C/D, Shihab and others. Both targets use the same RV, incorporating a redundant Autonomous Flight Termination System and a 3-axis Attitude Control System. Blue Sparrow performed flawlessly in all its missions so far.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the test was scheduled to finish before the Priazovye could arrive on the scene and pick up telemetry and data. The ship, a Vishnya-class elint ship, reports to the Russian brass.

The source said that the ship would not be a formal part of the group of warships from the Russian Navy currently in the region and would be reporting directly to the general staff in Moscow.

A source in the general staff had told Interfax last week that Russia wanted to receive the maximum information about the possible military action in the interests of Russian state security.

“We intend … to thoroughly analyze the tactics of the protagonists in a possible conflict,” a general staff source told the news agency.

That last sentence is curiously anachronistic. The strike on Syria, which the Western news media built up to have taken place last weekend, would have been started or even completed before the Priazovye sailed from Sevastopol. The Russians must have been aware beforehand that Obama would cancel the weekend strike for its departure date to make any sense in that regard.

Similarly, the Sparrow’s test timing is itself curious. The Sparrow — if that is what it was — is a defensive test target designed to simulate incoming Iranian and Syrian missiles. Logically these exercises would have been scheduled before any planned punitive raid on Syria.  And — assuming the attack was really ‘on’ for last weekend, the test was unlikely to have been slotted for its immediate aftermath, when operations may still have been ongoing and tensions at a fever pitch.

Taken together these events are suggestive of a larger background that has not been fully explored in the media. The planned attack on Syria could not have been solely about Assad’s use of chemical weapons any more than the attack on the Libya consulate was about a video produced in LA. It was a prelude to or part of something else. Just what is not at this point clear. If so, then the collapse of Obama’s plan as exemplified by its rejection in the British House of Commons implies a far greater strategic setback than the public is being told.

Really? Are they smoking something?  Or is the whole thing a cover for something else?


Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
This is only tangentially about people like Debbie Hateschristians Schulz.

Monkeyfan and Subothai are much closer to the truth of it. The rising numbers in support of this proposed turd represent the extent to which those dependent upon the government guaranteeing their financial wherewithal or those who want continued intervention in support of their particular grievance group agenda feel that supporting this Syria thing is necessary to keep the party that will continue to deliver their desires in power. The MSM and NPR and PBS will certainly provide the insinuation that this is so, swelling those numbers to the extent that they are able. Morality and strategy in the international sphere don't really enter into it at all.

If public school teachers and town officials and employees at state and federal alphabet agencies and rent-seekers and welfare recipients believe that supporting strikes against Syria will improve their chances of keeping a "D" government which will issue a magic check in perpetuity, then they will support the strikes regardless of the outcome to either foreign or domestic policy, or whether or not "women and children" being killed by any method, or or whether or not their private sector neighbors are harmed in some way, or even whether or not their own kids who might get killed in battle. The institutional Republicans, too, would rather see it happen than lose their good thing and so must be counted as the same as those other groups.


The bulk of the people in the anti-war movement during the time W was president were individuals who depended upon government largesse for their income in one way or another. Their opposition to the war was not based upon any moral outrage against the war, but on desire to harm Republicans, the party that represented a threat to their magic checks. Several articles regarding polling data proving this have come to light in the past week. The war was just a convenient way of dusting up the people talking about limiting or eliminating the magic checks. These same people are now silent about a military action which is even less justified. And not a one of them is publicly admitting that the weapons in question are the ones they denied Saddam had, the ones he moved to the Bekaa Valley on the eve of that war. That is an inconvenient fact which undermines the narrative keeping the Dems in power and the checks coming. It is also curious and pathetic that not a single congressional Republican is talking about those weapons in the context of Saddam.

In terms of our own little red wagon - I understand the desire for a charismatic Reagan to be elected next time and "set things right". But ultimately what we really need is not another Reagan, but another Coolidge, someone who will do the hard work of gutting the public workforce and forcing them back into private employment. It will be difficult if not impossible in the age of compelling visual media, but if it doesn't happen, we're done.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just so I can refine my calculations, was that a European or an
African Sparrow?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
" I'm more inclined to believe they are giving Obama rope so he can hang himself."

That implies a level of political hardball that has not been in evidence for decades. I am betting on submission to power. The power is not something legal.

Subotai Bahadur
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (110)
All Comments   (110)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Am I understanding this correctly? Kerry, the partisan blowhard lying sak of sheet, wants to trade American blood for Arab Oil? Showing once again that Kerry is for blood for oil before he's against the republicans before he's against it again, no, I mean for it again. Do these masters of the universe think they are just making signs in front of populist low information voters? Does Lurch think he is popular and if so, why is he willing to draw us into a fight with Russia instead of Iran? Who does he have to get killed this time so he can strengthen his political position going into 2014?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just heard O's comments at G-20. Has he jumped the shark? His absurdities may still fool the 'hood and some of the true believers, but the rest of the world has got to be laughing their collective heads off.

Maybe that is the plan. Humor. Get them laughing so hard their heads really do fall off and he can sneak by.

The level of childish sophistry displayed would make any foreign leader, friend or foe, think many times before making any agreement with Himself.

So this is how the Three Conjectures begin, clown driven chaos.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
ChrisP900: "OPEC/SA want's a gas pipeline through Syria into Europe. That would break the Russian monopoly"

That's a negatory, good buddy. Saudi Arabia is short of gas -- has to burn (otherwise exportable) oil to fuel the electric plants and desalination plants which make it possible for 27 Million people to live where only a few million could survive within living memory. Saudi Arabia does not want to send any gas to those energy hogs in Europe.

Qatar has lots of gas -- but even they are holding back on making commitments to sell further gas to their neighbors, who are all short of gas (or expect to be so in the foreseeable future). Why do you think the UAE is building nuclear power plants -- and, no, it has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.

Iran has lots of gas too -- the other half of Qatar's super-giant North field. Which may be why Russia is keeping on good terms with Iran. On the other hand, Russia's interests in keeping a stranglehold over EUnuch gas supplies could equally be satisfied by nuking Iran back to the Stone Age.

There are no bad outcomes in this situation for Russia, short of Soetero's accidental WW III. Putin is playing 3-dimensional chess; Barry is trying to play tic-tac-toe -- and is losing even at that.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The last time I checked a map Iraq and KSA were still in the way.

Iraq would never favor Sunni gas over Shi'ite gas. (Qatar vs Iran)

KSA is not exactly on the same wavelength as Qatar; as the latter is a BIG MB booster.

The idea is a brain fart.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Illegante

How about we have Congress pass a supplemental defense spending bill for some new LPD Flight II's?

http://www.huntingtoningalls.com/flight2/bmdvideo
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our Naval Services are so strapped that we need a 10 year "Investment in Peace" program. (See, I am learning O'speak)
The Corps needs to be 4 active divisions.
The Amphip Navy (as you suggest) needs to be able to deliver a full division assault in either ocean.
15 CVBG
30 SSNs
Increase use of nuclear power, hopefully fourth generation, in surface navy.
Reduce number of flag officer's in entire DOD by another 10%
Restrict total commissioned offers to not greater than 10% of force. We are over officered and undermanned.
Convert all Staff Corps (Med, Lawyers etc) to Warrant Officers. It used to be done this way. For example Jr. Surgeon, Asst Surgeon, Surgeon and Senior Surgeon, used to be real ranks.
Modify Warrant Officer insignia and precedence to be Jr. to equivalent O grade and senior (for precedence, not command purposes) to lower O and W grades.

oooppps rant off.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please fire at will --USN sails the seas, the Treasury's future fortunes aboard.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the 19th century military physicians had the status of an officer but no rank.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now this sociopath-in-chief claims he never set a "red-line." Watch the press twist themselves into pretzels helping him sell this lie.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-i-didnt-set-red-line-syria_752712.html
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Never let a crisis go to waste."

It's time for us to write a script for TOTUS. We'll call this episode "The Prodigal Son". It deals with Obama's 45 minute epiphany walking on the White House grounds with his chief of staff.

Obama FINALLY sees the Light! He admits that his support of Morsi and the MB was a mistake. Since the Egyptian Army re-assumed control, Egypt has begun a process of destroying smuggling tunnels into Gaza. This is good because it will crimp the terrorist rockets raining down on Israeli citizens. This change in situation on Israel's southern border will allow it to shift resources, such as Iron Dome north. There the Iron Dome will be better positioned to protect Israel from Syrian chemical weapon attacks. As Edward Teller noted "Better a Shield Than a Sword"

http://www.amazon.com/Better-Shield-Than-Sword-Perspectives/dp/0029324610

Next Obama announces he's reversed field and responded to Maliki's request for American support for Iraq, a mostly functional nation combining Shia, Sunni and Kurd factions living together after a regime change removing a Baathist dictator, whose MWDs were shipped to Syria when GWB determined that regime change was the Right Thing to Do. Praising GWB would be evidence of Obama's epiphany.

Then BHO ought to recruit Gen. Russel Honoré and send him to Jordan to help organize the refugee relief efforts there. He is a proven leader in relief operations. Sending him would prove America is serious in supporting peaceful citizens of the MENA.

Now that BHO will be in Russia, he needs to call out Putin for supplying weapons to a known TERRORIST, Bashar Assad. No more politically correct "A rose in the desert" crapola. Let's see him call a tool designed primarily for the purpose of digging or removing earth and spreading the soil a SPADE! Come On Barry, say the word SPADE out loud. We know you like to play the card game SPADES when you should have been watching Real Men kill Osama.

BHO needs to do the whole epiphany thing at the G-20 summit. It would be great TV.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another thing our Born Again President can do is tell Putin to his face that he has recanted and now supports installing ABM defenses in Eastern Europe. We no longer care whether or not Putin objects. If Russia supports TERRORIST NATIONS such as Iran and Syria, we support peace loving nations in providing for their own defense.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another questions is what mix of missiles to our destroyers have? rather than Tomahawks, are they carrying SM-3 missiles?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM-3

That would augment Israel's ABM defensive capabilities. Together they could provide an ABM shield against Assad's chemical warfare SCUD missiles for both Israel and Lebanon.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Secondary and tertiary questions related to yours. IF the 5 Arleigh Burkes are carrying RIM 161/SM-3's [not all DDG's are modified to carry them], would Buraq Hussein allow them to be used to augment Israel's ABM defense? That point is dicey at best. If they were allowed, given the fact that missiles aimed from Syria would be launched from behind mountains, do we have assets to give launch warning and initial tracking data?

Subotai Bahadur
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes.

Further, you can bet that, given a launch order, any single ship will empty its VLS/ Reloads of even Tomahawks. Remember, T'birds are also, and primarily, anti-ship missiles with some interesting features.

The launching ships will be arrayed in a mutually supportive manner, including some sort of air cover.

If you are trying to determine the size of the strike by counting magazine loadout you are probably wrong by 50% or more. No one, OK, no Naval Officer, would let his ship be out of bullets in such an insane situation.

Next of course, there will be an AOE (Oiler- Ordinance resupply) unrep close at hand. First priority will be gas. Ordinance can even be helo'ed in. This of course is the most vulnerable time, so will be done out of range, if possible.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"will NOT empty" sheesh.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, why'd the Turks let it through the Bosphorous?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Treaties my man, treaties. Plugging the Black Sea is a big deal, like closing Panama or Suez and not done for just sabre rattling.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
DSomething happened between Turkey and USA re that very topic, during or just after the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008. Turks let a USN signals vessel through and then delayed some warships just behind. IIRC, it was temporary, but messages were sent & received re such things as NATO bond strength and such.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Montreux Convention throttles non-Black Sea naval power projection into that tight area.

The Turks were merely observing the treaty's restrictions.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
bl said: Israel does not know which of several parties will be the new neighbor after the dust settles.

Apparently the Israeli press and government are mildly in favor of US action, but I don't gather they are really driving this bus - I hope they are not. The only scenario that serves Israel is where US actions meet counter-actions and things escalate so wildly they take in Iran. It might be the most destructive couple of weeks in human history.

Thanks, Obambus, for putting it on the table.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
http://www.barnhardt.biz/

This is that lady who sent her clients back their money and closed her successful, growing brokerage, upon the gov't's hands off of MFGlobal's $1.5 bbl theft.

She quit paying her 16th amendment dues, and the IRS took everything she owned. She is living now in a van down by the river, and doing janitorial night work for daily bread.

Yes, she may be invested in Armageddon --but that's no reason not to read her paint-scortching indictments. Devout Catholic --and dead-set against the Pope. She's onto something, maybe. Take a look at her Sept 02 and 03 posts.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ann Barnhardt gets it. Jesus is Lord; and Hussein is a moslem. Walid Shoebat says, "We [moslems] all know he is a moslem -- why are you [Westerners] afraid to say so?"
Also, Hussein's "spiritual mentor," when asked whether he'd been able to convert Hussein to Christianity (which Wright does not preach, BTW!), Wright said "I wouldn't go that far."

IOW, NO: Hussein Obama is still a moslem. Grasp that nettle, and all the rest of it makes perfect sense. Like Barnhardt says, what would a moslem do who was giving command of the United States (by the wretched cretins who are "citizens" nowadays)? why, he would do exactly what Hussein is doing.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Regret being late to this party. Work is not only unremunerative but it seriously interferes with my blog reading.

Are the Israelis collecting photos of ship's propellers? Submariners like to offer those as calling cards. The Swedes are building new AIP subs for delivery in 2020. They will have an enlarged tube for SpecOps delivery. Singapore is ordering a couple. The price tag is steep. The Israelis need more subs too. Will the next war start with an IRBM launch or with the seas boiling as torpedoes seek targets? Once undersea combat starts every contact surface or subsurface will be a target.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 5 Next View All