Israel signs deal for advanced precision missiles
The Israeli Defense Ministry announced on Monday, August 27, 2018, 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 MENA region.
The Defense Ministry signed a deal with state-owned firm, Israel Military Industries (IMI), for the purchase of the rockets, estimated to cost hundreds of millions of shekels. The new rockets have innovative technology that allows high accuracy According to the Defense Ministry, IMI will supply ISF with rockets that can hit targets between 30 kilometers and 150 kilometers (18 to 93 miles).
According to the Defense Ministry, this precision firepower significantly improves ISF’s capabilities and enables precise impact on remote launch, immediate availability and low mission cost when compared to other combat systems. As such, these missiles allow Israel to fire at targets from its own territory using a system more accurate than artillery fire while simultaneously being safer than aerial attacks which often put pilots at risk.
This planned missile corps is believed to act as the offensive counter to Lebanese Hezbollah’s own a large arsenal of more than 100,000 short- and medium-range rockets.
Moreover, reports indicate that among the missiles purchased were multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), which will be able to reach targets 40 kilometers (25 miles) away. These rockets reportedly 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 missiles that have a maximum range of 150 kilometers (93 miles) and can carry a 120-kilogram (265-pound) warhead, according to Israel Military Industries, at a cost of $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 idea of assembling such an arsenal of ground-based missiles and a dedicated corps responsible for it has been discussed in the Israeli Army General Staff for years, but these types of missiles have remained in limited use.