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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘testing’

Analysts: Iran Launched New Site to Test Ballistic Missiles

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Weeks after the Iranian government had announced it was building new launch bases for its domestic satellite program, newly published pictures of one such site have led analysts to conclude it was designed to test ballistic missiles rather than launch space rockets, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The new site is close to Iran’s first space center in the northern Semnan province. A picture of the base published by IHS Jane’s Military and Security Assessments shows a 70 ft. tall launch tower sitting on a 600 by 420 ft. launch pad. The picture also shows a 375 ft. long exhaust deflector.

The Telegraph quotes analysts who say they base their speculation on the fact that the unfinished site, located 25 miles south east of the city of Shahrud, does not include a storage facility for the liquid rocket fuel which is used in the Iranian space program. This would suggest that the base is being built for ballistic missiles, which use solid fuel.

Matthew Clements, who edited these assessments, said: “This site could be a facility for launching satellites into orbit. However, Iran is already building at least one other site for this purpose and, looking at the satellite imagery we have got, we believe that this facility is most likely used for testing ballistic missiles. Its location and orientation would be suitable for long-range missile tests as they would fly over Iranian territory for 870 miles, meaning large quantities of flight data could be gathered before they drop into the Indian Ocean.”

“At the same time,” Clements added, “we can’t see any storage facilities for the liquid fuel needed for the rockets that launch satellites, suggesting it will be used for solid-fuel ballistic missiles.”

He also said there was no indication that the base was a nuclear facility.

In July, Iranian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Mohammad Hassan Nami announced that Iran is planning to launch several new space centers to “monitor and observe different space objects and satellites passing through the country’s atmosphere,” and introduced the new space center in Semnan province.

“We are building other centers too and we are trying to have a powerful start,” he added.

But if the entire project turns out to be a ruse intended to hide Iran’s efforts to produce a missile with the range to hit Tel-Aviv, it would be the first time such a ruse was attempted using a monkey.

In January, Iran’s Aerospace Industries announced that it has sent a monkey into space on the back of Pishgam (Pioneer) explorer rocket, and that the monkey came back.

Aerospace Industries said it was planning to send humans into space.

But Shashank Joshi, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute who has written about the Iranian missile program, told the Telegraph Iran’s actual plans are far more sinister: “We often talk about Iran’s nuclear program,” Joshi said, “but what really spooks countries in the region is the ballistic missiles that could act as a delivery system.”

He said Iran had been laboring to develop solid fuel rockets which are quicker to deploy than liquid fuel versions. He commented: “If you look at why their missile program has been so slow, one reason is their difficulties with solid fuel. A testing site which helps in that regard is concerning. Testing is critical. You don’t improve missiles until you test them.”

Disappointed But Not Surprised

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

I know that this is their view. Nonetheless, it still pains me when I see them saying so in such stark black and white terms. I am referring to the recent statement by the Agudah Moetzes endorsing the views of their Israeli counterparts on the issue of drafting Yeshiva students. They are obviously very opposed.

While I accept that the members of the Moetzes are talmidei hachamim with few peers; and that their views should be respected, I have to say that there are times – like this one – that makes it very difficult for me to do so. Not because I don’t respect their knowledge. Nor do I suspect that their views are anything but l’shem shomayim – for the sake of heaven. I truly believe that they are selfless human beings that have dedicated their lives to doing the will of God and serving Klal Yisroel.

Here is a translation of their most recent proclamation from the Baltimore Jewish Life:

We are deeply dismayed by the efforts in Eretz Yisroel to draft B’nei Yeshiva and remove them from the Beis Medrash, the wellspring of Torah to which they dedicate their days and nights. The perseverance and security of Hashem’s people are rooted in its dedication to Torah study, as Chazal comment on the posuk “Our feet were standing at your gates, Yerushalayim”: “What will enable our feet to stand firm in war? The gates of Yerushalayim, where [Jews] devote themselves to Torah study.”

We appeal to the members of the government in Israel not to take any steps that will in any way negatively affect the B’nei Yeshiva and their study of Torah. For Torah study is “our life and the length of our days,” which will “lead us, upright, forever.” Like I said, this is no surprise. But it bothers me just the same. I understand the issue. They say that Torah study is what saves the world. That without it, the world would cease to exist… and that certainly Torah study is what protects the Jewish people. Granted. But what this statement does not say is that security requires not only Torah study but in the case of Israel – an army. This very simple fact – and it is a fact – was acknowledged in public by Rav Haim Shmulevitz, a Gadol of an earlier generation. I can’t even count anymore the times I’ve quoted this revered sage of the 20th century on this issue. He did not make it up. Nor is there any rabbinic opposition to this fact. It is the truth. It’s called hishtadlus – maximum mental and physical effort. Hishtadlus in this case requires that we do whatever earthly things we can to accomplish the goal of protecting Jewish lives. Which means that we do not rely on miracles. If there were no army, there would be no hishtadlus. It is true that Torah holds up the world. But as R’ Haim said we need not only a spiritual army. We need a physical army as well. If that were not so, there would no such thing as a milchemes mitzvah (a war mandated by God). We would just all sit in a beis hamedrash and study Torah until our enemies were destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven. David HaMelech captured Jerusalem not by staying in the beis hamedrash but by going to war.

This statement does not address that issue. Nor does it answer the pain and suffering of families whose sons have been maimed or killed in doing their hishtadlus in battle, while yeshiva students do theirs in relative safety. The idea of “sharing the burden” which is what proponents of drafting Haredim want – is based on this kind of inequity. Why do they not address it? How can they not? How can they just say they are dismayed by a possible draft without addressing this issue?

Nor do they explain why they feel that the status quo ante should remain untouched in any way? I could better understand if they had said that there ought not be a draft for Haredim – if they qualified it with the requirement to root out those who are faking it or just going through the motions because of peer pressure. Or maybe even those who are learning but not quite at the level one would expect of someone who is Torah umnaso (Torah is his job).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/disappointed-but-not-surprised/2013/02/21/

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