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calendar   Sunday - December 28, 2008

Gaza: Running the Numbers

RE: the situation in Gaza and Israel’s response to it.

Comment by BlueStateSaint: “Run an Arc Light for the entire length and width of the Gaza Strip.” and blow the entire place even closer to Hell.

Now, just for sick fun, just how much work would that be? Let’s take a look at some numbers. Air Force types with more accurate information than mine are free to provide better numbers.

I looked at things, and concluded that it’s more a matter of logistics than practicality. You can do the job in less than 4 days with only 80 bombers. If you can add twenty dozen fighter planes into the mix the job can be done in less than 3 days. The problem really boils down to where you can field the planes from, and how fast you can get each reloaded and back into the sky.

Want to see the math?  I’ve read that a B52 can carry 50 one ton bombs. If the assured destructive blast radius of one of those bombs is 75 meters (what bombers call the PI, and I’m using a PI of over .8, which means an 80% destructive rate), how many bombs does it take to level all of Gaza? We want to kill everyone and their goats, and leave no buildings standing.

It turns out that the real limit of this operation is how fast you can reload and launch each airplane. If you can get a bomber into the air every 2 minutes, and land another one every 2 minutes, then you can cycle 15 bombers per hour, or about 20 every 90 minutes. Use the British air base in Akrotiri Cyprus. You would have to refuel the planes about every 3rd flight from Cyprus. The smart move would be to get to work right now to build a second strip parallel to the first one. Put 2000 men on the job and it should be done in two weeks or less. Then you can cycle more than double the number of planes, about 40 per hour. You would need a small army of bomb loaders.

Israel is so close it ain’t even worth flying bombers from there. Instead use Israel’s air bases to launch fighter planes, which can probably carry 4 of these bombs each. So every 12 fighters would equal one bomber. Bring in a couple carriers just over the horizon ... between the US Navy and the IDF, can we put 240 fighters on the job? Let’s assume we can.

If we can put 80 B52s into a continuous bomber stream, and they take off from the British air base at Akrotiri in southern Cyprus ... only 230 miles from target ... half an hour each way, 15 minutes over target, 15 minutes to takeoff and land (2 hours total air time) and 2 hours to reload? .. call it 5 runs a day to be safe ... how long will it take to do the job? With an air base cycle rate of 40 per hour and 2 hours air time, this means you are limited to using 80 B52s. I wish we had that many. Ok, drag some B2s along as well. Surely we have 80 bombers between the two? Add in all the fighter planes, and you effectively have 100 B52 bomb loads in the cycle.

The Gaza Strip is 360 square kilometers. 360 x 1000 meters x 1000 meters

A Mk82 GP bomb has a fatal PI of 75 meters ... which means damn near everything inside that radius is destroyed or killed.

Now we do the math: to destroy one square kilometer you need to lay down a grid of these bastards 14 x 14. 196 bombs. Call it 200, which is 4 B52s worth. (which also gets your PI up a little higher) Therefore you would need 4 x 360 = 1440 B52 loads to destroy Gaza utterly: 72,000 bombs. Given 100 planeloads and 5 runs per day, which is 500 runs worth, it would take just 70 hours. 

Better start building that second runway in Cyprus, and somebody better get the bomb factories up and running again.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/28/2008 at 04:58 PM   
Filed Under: • War On Terror •  
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