Israel: new precision rockets purchased by Defense Ministry
The Israeli Defense Ministry announced on Monday 27 August that it had purchased a vast network of surface-to-surface precision missiles, for an undisclosed sum, and is reportedly seeking longer-range arms that can target the whole region, the Times of Israel reports.
Preador Hawk tactical ballistic missile (Picture source: IMI)
The ministry said Israel Military Industries will supply the IDF with rockets that can hit targets between 30 kilometers and 150 kilometers away (18 to 93 miles). The ministry said only that the deal is worth “hundreds of millions of shekels.” “We are acquiring and developing precision fire systems that will enable the IDF… within a few years to cover any point in the region,” added Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. This planned missile corps is believed to act as the offensive counter to the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group’s own huge arsenal of more than 100,000 short- and medium-range rockets. It will allow Israel to fire at Hezbollah targets from its own territory using a system more precise than artillery fire and ostensibly safer than aerial attacks which often place pilots and planes in enemy territory.
Among the missiles purchased are multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) which will be able to reach targets 40 kilometers (25 miles) away. These rockets have warheads that contain 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of explosives and are guided by GPS. The system can fire 18 rockets per minute.
The Defense Ministry is also interested in purchasing a number of other models from IMI, including Extended Range Artillery — or EXTRA. EXTRA missiles have a maximum range of 150 kilometers (93 miles) and can carry a 120-kilogram (265-pound) warhead, according to IMI. They cost $300,000 per rocket.
Another model being considered is the Predator Hawk, a tactical ballistic missile with a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles), which would cover all of Lebanon.
The notion of forming such an arsenal of ground-based missiles and a dedicated corps responsible for it has been bandied about in the IDF General Staff for years, but ultimately these types of missiles have remained in limited use and under the purview of the air force, which also reportedly operates long-range varieties, like the Jericho.