The Aegean Islands as Submersible Rockets – How War Can Be Prevented
When, on June 13, 1944, Nazi Germany launched the first V-1 flying bomb against British soil, it laid the groundwork for a change in the way war was conducted.
The V-1 was a sluggish and rather inaccurate weapon, propelled by a jet and about a quarter of these flying bombs did not even reach Britain – many were shot down.
Seeing the low performance of the V-1, the Germans designed the V-2 missile, the first ballistic missile in the world.
Due to the rocket’s rise in space before it began its descent onto its target at supersonic speeds, the V-2 could not be shot down, nor did it have a sound position to cover those in the target area.
Today, technology has made it possible to build much more advanced missiles with much greater impact accuracy.
This allows a long-range strike without the necessary use of an aircraft.
This alone makes these weapons ideal as deterrent weapons, especially if they are intended for mass use.
From the above we can easily conclude that weapons of this kind can be a very powerful deterrent for Greek defense.
The installation of such systems on Aegean islands can reduce the need for longer range missiles
For example, Lemnos is 230 km away from Balıkesir Air Base of the Turkish Air Force.
Thanks to technology, it is now possible for the mass production of such weapons by countries, even by non-governmental entities. And the cost has now been greatly reduced.
The biggest cost consists of the construction and installation of navigation systems. But we will talk about the construction and cost of such missiles in a future article.
The production and deployment of missiles, or cruise missiles on the Aegean islands, offers the possibility – in case of a Turkish attack – of immediate overwhelming retaliation against strategic targets inside Turkey, without the possibility of equal retaliation.
The reason is simple: the strategic targets in Turkish territory are located in its west.
On the contrary, strategic targets in Greek territory, which the Turks would like to hit, are located on the mainland, not the Aegean islands.
Turkish war industries are located on the outskirts of Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις, Turkish: İstanbul) and Smyrna (Σμύρνα, Turkish: İzmir), for example the Bayrak factories.
Others are located in Phrygia (Φρυγία, Turkish: Sakarya), such as Otokar, and others on the outskirts of Ankara, like Roketsan.
The largest air bases in western Turkey are in Palaeokastron (Παλαιόκαστρο, Turkish: Balıkesir) and Dorylaeum (Δορύλαιον, Turkish: Eskişehir).
The main naval bases of Turkey are located in the Sea of Marmara and on the coasts of Asia Minor.
Almost all strategically important Turkish military installations are located up to 600 km from the Aegean islands, most at much shorter distances.
What can be done
The missile systems that can be developed can vary in range to deal with various threats. They can also have moving or fixed bases.
The use of fixed shooting positions may seem strange at first glance and against the principle of movement, but it is highly effective under certain conditions.
Most of the world’s missile systems under construction are on-board so that they can be moved to and from launch sites.
Many systems have lightly shielded parts, such as the cockpit, to provide protection against possible anti-artillery fire.
On-board systems, if designed from the ground up, or modified for this purpose, can also be placed in towing tractors, and even civilian vehicles.
Containers may bear political paint, inscriptions and trade names, making them indistinguishable from hostile recognition.
This, of course, does not reduce the need for other vehicles in an artillery to be able to connect to launchers for fire expansion, command and communications. Launching from fixed positions is still a regular practice for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
The missiles are housed in underground heavy armored silos with huge caps to withstand anything but a direct nuclear strike.
In the Greek case it does not need to be so expensive and complicated. The Aegean islands have abundant desert areas, but also abandoned villages.
In these places can be built underground silos of small dimensions, or even placed in abandoned and suitably modified buildings.
If Greece could build the fortresses of the Metaxas Line between 1936-1940 with extreme secrecy, it can do so more easily today.
Of course, without seeing workers take “selfies” in front of the projects and post them on social networking sites!
What missile systems are needed
As we initially said a mix of different types of multi-range missiles would be the best solution.
That is, missiles with a range of 40-50 km can provide defensive coverage of the islands, while longer-range missile artillery will be the deterrent-impact force against Turkish strategic targets, although some Turkish strategic targets are within the range of smaller missiles.
At the same time, of course, other missile systems will offer anti-aircraft coverage.
In order to hit targets in the depths of the Turkish hinterland, missile systems with a range of 600 km and above are required.
Such systems can hit targets from the Aegean islands to Ankara. Necessarily these systems are much more voluminous and reach several meters in length.
If, however, new technologies are used (ultrasonic scrammers), the dimensions are significantly reduced, at least in length.
The numbers needed depend on the targets that the Greek Armed Forces is potentially seeking to hit, as well as the probability of a circular error (CEP), ie the possible deviation of the point of impact of the missile from the target.
The size of the deviation increases or decreases depending on the type of direction available to the missile system, which also depends on the cost.
Cost is not prohibitive
A grid of such arrays can launch a catastrophic barrage of at least a thousand missiles, causing a significant percentage of the targets to be completely destroyed or extensive damage that will render them inoperable for a significant period of time.
It may sound like such a large number of missile systems are expensive, but they may not be what we think they are.
The higher the production the lower the cost per unit. Also, new technological developments have reduced the cost of building missiles or cruise systems, with the most expensive part being the electronic system that will direct the missile to the target.
But we will talk about them in the next article with data from producers of such systems.
The transformation of the Greece’s Aegean islands into sinking rocket launchers, as we used to talk about sinking aircraft carriers, would radically change the balance of power on the Greek-Turkish front.
To be precise, it would make a conflict prohibitive, because the costs for both countries would be extremely high, many times greater than any desired profit.
This practically means that the prevention would work fully and effectively in the Aegean Sea.
Prevent not only a generalized war, but also the provocation of a deliberate hot episode, since in conditions of balance of power this could turn into a military conflict, especially in the Aegean.
In other words, missile technology now allows Greece’s Aegean islands, from being traditionally weak links in Greek defense, to now be a strategic advantage.