Egozi: Israeli-Developed Ground-to-Ground Missiles Ready for Action

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By Arie Egozi

The Israeli-developed highly accurate ground-to-ground missiles will play a major role in every future confrontation.

Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Defense Minister, has been putting heavy pressure on the highest command of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to develop and use more accurate ground-to-ground missiles in order to hit targets in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.

The minister said in a recent meeting with the IDF top brasses that the technology allows the IDF to hit quality targets in neighboring countries without using the resources of the Israeli Air Force (IAF).

Media in Syria and Lebanon claimed that some of the “Phantom” attacks on convoys of Iranian weapons on their way to the Hezbollah in Lebanon and on an Iranian base in Syria were conducted by Israel and that long-range missiles were used.

Some units of the IDF ground forces have been equipped with long-range accurate ground-to-ground missiles.

This position taken by the Israeli Defense Minister is still met with criticism from the side of the Israeli Air Force. The equation is simple – if the ground forces are allocated the budgets for operating ground-to-ground missiles, this will damage the Air Force budgets.

The role of the IAF in suppressing missile and shell fire into Israel has been evaluated very extensively in recent years. Traditionally, the IAF is in charge of suppressing any fire aimed from neighboring countries against civilian and military targets inside Israel.

The development of very precise, low-cost missiles by Israeli companies  has put the issue on the table some years ago, but opposition from the IAF resulted in adhering to the current situation. The opposition was based on the concern that a change will decrease the IAF’s procurement budgets.

Until a few years ago, the only precise missile available to the IDF was the upgraded, trajectory corrected multi-launch rocket system (MLRS) with a range of 45 km.

Israel Military Industries (IMI Systems) decided to change this situation and offer very accurate, low-cost solutions. The IMI concept is based on the company’s extended range artillery missiles like the Extra, jointly developed with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The trajectory corrected long-range missile is aimed at replacing aircraft missions. The Extra, which is actually a guided missile, has a range of over 150 km. It will replace air-to-ground weapons in medium- and long-range strikes.

The Extra is 3.9 meters long and has a diameter of 30 cm. The total weight of the missile is 430 kg, including a 120 kg warhead.

As part of the new concept, IMI has developed new launching systems that can be used to launch different types of precise missiles.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has also developed a very accurate ground-to-ground missile – the LORA (Long-Range Artillery weapon system). The LORA is an artillery weapon system which consists of a long-range tactical ground-to-ground missile developed by IAI’s MALAM division. It is intended for strike scenarios with a range of up to 400 km and according to the company, has a 10 meters or better CEP.

So the tools are handy and proven. All signs point to close massive procurement by the IDF’s ground forces. Will the IAF sit tight? I doubt.

Arie Egozi, iHLS Editor-in-Chief