The Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government, the Times of London reported.
Among the steps taken to ready Israeli forces for what would be a risky raid requiring pinpoint aerial strikes are the acquisition of three Airborne Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft and regional missions to simulate the attack.
Two nationwide civil defence drills will help to prepare the public for the retaliation that Israel could face.
“Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words,” one senior defense official told the Times.
Officials believe that Israel could be required to hit more than a dozen targets, including moving convoys. The sites include Natanz, where thousands of centrifuges produce enriched uranium; Esfahan, where 250 tons of gas is stored in tunnels; and Arak, where a heavy water reactor produces plutonium.
The distance from Israel to at least one of the sites is more than 870 miles, a distance that the Israeli force practiced covering in a training exercise last year that involved F15 and F16 jets, helicopters and refuelling tankers.