Steve Clemons mentions a piece about the probing of Iran’s missile defences.
The flights, which have been going on for weeks, are being launched from sites in Afghanistan and Iraq and are part of Bush administration attempts collect badly needed intelligence on Iran’s possible nuclear weapons development sites, these sources said, speaking on condition of strict anonymity.
“These Iranian air defense positions are not just being observed, they’re being ‘templated,'” an administration official said, explaining that the flights are part of a U.S. effort to develop “an electronic order of battle for Iran” in case of actual conflict.
In the event of an actual clash, Iran’s air defense radars would be targeted for destruction by air-fired U.S. anti-radiation or ARM missiles, he said.
It seems pretty likely that this would be happening on an ongoing basis. Satellite technology will only go so far in tracking down SA-7 or SA-9 missile systems, especically mobile or well hidden ones. But once one is turned active it will immediately be known.
In fact missiles like the HARM missile mentioned depend on the radar being active in order to find their target. And other missiles have been developed that are even better. European weapons companies developed a missile that would fire at an active radar system, and the enemy, realising that a missile may be on its way, would turn off their radar systems. The missile would react by climbing up to a high altitude, deploying a parachute, and wait for the radar system to come back on – then it would eject the parachute and kill the target.