Israel tested once more Jericho intercontinental ballistic missile

On Friday, Jan.31, Israel conducted a missile test over the central part of the country, the second of this type in two months. The missile is not specified by the MoD but it is believed it was an exercise involving the surface-to-surface Jericho intercontinental ballistic missile.

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Israel never acknowledged owning Jericho Intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear capacity (Picture source: Wikipedia)

"The defense establishment conducted a launch test a few minutes ago of a rocket propulsion system from a base in the center of the country," the ministry said. The Israelis never acknowledged whether they own intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear capacity but it is rather widely known.

Jericho is a general designation given to a loosely related family of deployed ballistic missiles developed by Israel from the 1960s forward. The name is taken from the first development contract for the Jericho I signed between Israel and Dassault in 1963, with the codename as a reference to the Biblical city of Jericho. As with most Israeli unconventional weapons systems, exact details are classified, though there are observed test data, public statements by government officials, and details in open literature, especially about the Shavit satellite launch vehicle.

The later Jericho family development is related to the Shavit and Shavit II space launch vehicles believed to be derivatives of the Jericho II IRBM and that preceded the development of the Jericho III ICBM. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US concluded that the Shavit could be adapted as an ICBM carrying 500 kg warhead over 7,500 km. Additional insight into the Jericho program was revealed by the South African series of missiles, of which the RSA-3 are believed to be licensed copies of the Jericho II/Shavit, and the RSA-4 that used part of these systems in their stack with a heavy first stage. Subsequent to the declaration and disarming of the Nuclear programme of South Africa,[3] the RSA series missiles were offered commercially as satellite launch vehicles, resulting in the advertised specifications becoming public knowledge.


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