Israeli army will buy new long-range MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System 1503124


Defense News - Israel

Thursday, March 15, 2012, 08:39 PM
Israeli army will buy new long-range MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System.
In the face of growing threats posed by rockets at the disposal of Israel's foes, the Israeli military will acquire rockets of its own, the Yediot Aharonot daily reported Wednesday, March 14, 2012. Brig.-Gen. David Suissa, the commander of the army's Artillery Corps, is promoting the procurement of precision-strike rockets with ranges of 40 and 150 km, according to the paper's business section.
While the Artillery Corps has been operating the American-made M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) since the 1990s, long- range rockets have largely been absent in the army's arsenal of munitions. But recent developments in rocket artillery technology have significantly lowered costs -- just tens of thousands of shekels per unit -- and improved the accuracy of rockets, making them particularly attractive to the Israeli army, whose battles are increasingly waged in civilian populated areas.

Military officials have said that rockets could prove useful during the initial phase of a future Middle East war, which would likely see Israeli air bases coming under missile and rocket fire.

Israel's Defense Ministry has not yet invited bids but the leading contender is Israel Military Industries which already produces long-range, GPS-guided projectiles, mainly for markets abroad.

Other local defense firms, including Israel Aerospace Industries and RAFAEL Advanced Systems Ltd., are also expected to submit bids, according to the report.

The Artillery Corps would receive the 40 km-range rockets within months after an order is placed, while the 150 km-range projectiles would only be supplied in 2014-2015, the report said.