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[] AWST 30.09.02: Oil Wells, WMD Sites Fall Off Bombing List,

Aviation Week & Space Technology September 30, 2002 Pg. 24

Oil Wells, WMD Sites Fall Off Bombing List

U.S. war plans are shifting as the Pentagon factors in new weapon options 
and the postwar health of Iraq's economy

By David A. Fulghum and Robert Wall, Washington

Iraq's oil fields and plants for building or storing weapons of mass 
destruction (WMD) are off the Pentagon's bombing list and have been 
transferred to a growing catalog of targets that would be disabled by 
electronic attacks or information warfare.

With worries about world oil markets, the economic future of Iraq, and the 
specter of releasing plumes of chemical or biological agents into the air 
from bombed storage sites that could drift into neighboring countries, the 
U.S. is set to exercise some new "wrinkles" in warfare.

"In the planning for the attack on Iraq, information operations are getting 
really big," a senior Air Force official said. "It's going to include 
hacking, misinformation and computer network attack." Cruise 
missile-delivered high-power microwave weapons that can damage sensitive 
electronics and scramble computer memories are also in the mix of options.

"Among other targets, they're going after the oil infrastructure," he said. 
"The idea had come up of destroying the oil wells as part of the attack on 
leadership targets and the structure that give Saddam Hussein and the 
Ba'ath party its power. But the option being offered the White House is to 
leave the wells intact but take out the communications, electronics and 
computers so they can't pump the oil."

Also on the list of facilities to be disabled are many of the fixed targets 
around which the Iraqi leadership has built civilian housing, hospitals and 
religious sites.

"You can't destroy those targets without killing a lot of civilians," the 
Air Force official said. "Therefore, the priority for targeting [with 
conventional weapons] has shifted to destroying the instruments of power 
like the palaces and headquarters, primarily in Tikrit and Baghdad, where 
Saddam Hussein and his cronies spend their time." Also on the destroy list 
are Republican Guard and security units.

U.S. reluctance to damage Iraq's economic infrastructure was reflected in 
national security adviser Condoleezza Rice's pledge to encourage 
democratization in the Muslim world, promote a unified and democratic Iraq, 
and spend money rebuilding the country after Saddam Hussein's removal.

INCREASING IN PROMINENCE on the "to bomb" list is Iraq's ballistic missile 
facilities that are again being rebuilt. Many of these were attacked in 
1991 and 1998 and are now back on the prime target list. The British 
government's newly released dossier on "Iraq's Weapons of Mass 
Destruction"--published in Arabic and English--extends beyond what U.S. 
intelligence officials have so far revealed about Iraq's current ballistic 
missile activities.

"Intelligence has confirmed that Iraq wants to extend the range of its 
missile systems to over 1,000 km.," the report states. Satellite 
surveillance has shown the development of a new test stand to support 
engine testing for a medium-range ballistic missile. "Such a facility 
should not be needed for systems that fall within the U.N.-permitted range 
of 150 km.," the report said. In addition, the Iraqis appear to be seeking 
guidance technology for improved missile accuracy, a need that grows as 
missiles travel greater distances.

The British government also detailed the extent to which Iraq has rebuilt 
missile development and production facilities damaged by earlier allied air 
strikes. For example, a rocket-propellant mixing and casing facility is 
being built that's similar to a plant destroyed earlier that was associated 
with the 700-1,000-km. range Badr-2000 missile. Similarly, an ammonium 
perchlorate manufacturing facility needed for solid-propellant production 
has been built with help by an Indian company, NEC Engineers Private Ltd., 
the report said. The company now has export sanctions placed on it.

Iraqi engineers also might have been able to maintain some of the 20 
Al-Hussein missiles in good enough condition for operational use. However, 
intelligence analysts aren't certain how many of the 650-km.-range weapons 
could be employed. Each of them should be capable of carrying conventional, 
chemical or biological warheads.

Reports surfaced in early September that Ukraine had violated a U.N. 
weapons embargo by selling four locally built Kolchuga radar stations to 
Iraq in July 2000. A Kolchuga system uses four receivers and a central 
coordination facility to track the emissions from approaching aircraft, 
said a longtime Pentagon radar specialist. By analyzing the differences in 
time that the aircraft's electronic emissions arrive at the four receivers, 
the system's operators can plot the invader's location. Ukrainian officials 
said there was no sale, while officials in nearby Belarus denied that they 
helped Iraq rebuild its antiaircraft defenses.

Financing for these and other projects is believed to come from more than 
$8 billion in illegal funds, particularly from illegal oil sales, raised by 
the Baghdad government in recent years.

The Kolchuga would be an attractive system for the Iraqis because it does 
not itself emit signals like traditional radars. U.S. HARM missiles, for 
example, follow radar signals back to their source and destroy the radar 
antenna. A barrage of HARMs broke the back of the Iraqi air defense system 
in 1991 after U.S. decoys tricked the defenders into turning on their radars.

However, these passive radar systems are not accurate enough to provide 
targeting data for an antiaircraft missile, the specialist said. It could 
serve only as an early warning system or to cue other active radars that 
could provide more accurate data. U.S. aircraft as a rule try to operate in 
electronic silence when they are involved in combat prior to enemy air 
defenses being crushed. For special operations aircraft that rely on radar 
altimeters and similar emitting devices for terrain following navigation, 
the Pentagon is developing upgrades to make the signals almost impossible 
to detect.

Passive tracking radars, particularly a system produced in the Czech 
Republic, have been on the world market for decades and are touted as 
having antistealth characteristics. However, U.S. Air Force officials argue 
that the systems appear to fall short of their advertised performance and 
that stealth aircraft continue to have the edge over current air defenses.

Within the last few years, Lockheed Martin has produced a more 
sophisticated passive radar system that uses the reflections from 
commercial radio and television signals and a bistatic arrangement of 
antennas to track aircraft from a few tens of miles. Such systems are not 
uniquely counterstealth. However, in the HF-VHF range of frequencies, 
sometimes there could be enhanced half-wave reflections from stealth 
designs depending on the aircraft's size, he said. The problem is that in 
wartime, commercial stations will likely be off the air.

There also appears to be some low-level concern about Iraq having obtained 
GPS jammers, which have been openly marketed by various countries for 
years. The current GPS signal is relatively weak and easy to jam, prompting 
the Pentagon to upgrade some of its GPS IIR/F satellites and boosting power 
on the new GPS IIIs. Additionally, cruise missiles that are most 
susceptible to jamming are receiving antijam GPS receivers, which have been 
successfully demonstrated. Disrupting the signal for GPS-guided bombs would 
have limited impact. By the time the jamming takes effect, the bomb would 
be almost directly over its target and on a trajectory to a near-precision 
hit even when relying only on its inertial guidance system.

What could hurt U.S. military efforts is the increasing pinch in 
intelligence-gathering aircraft. U.S. Central Command recently suffered the 
loss of another Predator UAV, this one having come down in a residential 
area in Kuwait. Nobody on the ground was hurt, U.S. officials said. The 
accident appears to have been weather-related. It is at least the sixth 
Predator that CentCom has lost this fiscal year. Additionally, the Air 
Force last month damaged one of its shrinking fleet of U-2Ss at Beale AFB, 
Calif. The U-2s and Global Hawk UAVs operate from a forward base in the 
United Arab Emirates when in theater.

Furthermore, USAF is temporarily losing the services of Global Hawk in the 
region. The Air Force has pulled the remaining vehicles back from Central 
Command to regroup after having run low on spares for the developmental 
aircraft, according to a government official. But the aircraft is expected 
to return to the United Arab Emirates if there's a war in Iraq, which is 
why the Air Force has left key ground control elements in place.

Global Hawk had only just resumed flying after a prolonged grounding 
following a crash in Pakistan in July while trying to make an emergency 
landing after losing power over Afghanistan. It crashed into a ridge that 
hadn't been entered in the aircraft's digital terrain elevation data 
system. The Air Force is trying to speed production of the next aircraft, 
air vehicle No. 7, and of the much-valued electro-optical payloads.

The Pentagon also has been closely managing the use of some aircraft with 
an eye to impending operations in Iraq. A senior Army official said the 
AH-64D Longbow Apache attack helicopters didn't see service in Afghanistan 
because planners thought the new fire-control radar would be much more 
effective in the desert environment, and deploying them to Central Asia 
could have meant they wouldn't be available for operations in the Middle East.

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