TEL AVIV: Following the recent rocket attacks from Gaza, Israeli experts say the IDF needs more versions of ground-to-ground rockets to hit enemy rocket launchers.
An Israeli defense source told BD that the use of Israeli ground-to-ground missiles in the recent Nagorno-Karabach war “increased the interest in these missiles, especially the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Lora.
“I cannot go into details but I can say that American companies, including the IAI subsidiary Stark Aerospace, can easily make parts of this missile using FMF funds. Stark manufactures parts of the Israeli Arrow 3 ballistic missile interceptor and can easily start making the Lora and other Israeli made ground-to-ground missiles — some that are still classified. The administration will back any such decision as it adds jobs to U.S companies.”
The LORA consists of a long-range tactical ground-to-ground missile developed by IAI’s MALAM division. Its got a range of 400 km and it’s got a CEP of 10 meters or better. The Lora was used heavily by the Azeri army in the Nagorno-Karabach war.
The defense source added that the U.S has followed the use of the Israeli ground-to-ground missiles in the many reported attacks on Iranian targets in Syria. According to Syria the missiles hit the targets with great accuracy.
The recent U.S–Israeli FMF agreement decreases the portion of the defense grants that can be converted to local Israeli currency, so this may force Israeli companies to form joint ventures with American companies to manufacture the long range missiles.
Some years ago, former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberaman tried to create a dedicated ground-to-ground missiles unit in the IDF, but the plan was opposed by the Israeli air force.
Miki Bar, former commander of one of the IAF’s main bases, told BD that while the IAF has diversified its weapon systems, “I have no doubt that more long range accurate ground-to-ground missiles will be a very cost-effective capability that will complement this of the air force.”
According to the latest assessments, Hezbollah currently possesses between 120,000 to 140,000 short-range rockets (with a range of 25-28 miles), which cover Israel’s north, several thousand medium-range rockets (range of 56 miles); and several hundred long-range rockets and missiles (ranges of hundreds of miles) able to hit targets anywhere in Israel.
Hezbollah’s rockets and missiles are dispersed throughout Lebanon. Its short-range rockets are mostly stored in the south near the Israeli border, to maximize their range. They are hidden in homes in 230 Shiite villages. If the IDF decides to enter these villages on the ground to stop this barrage, it will be met with an array of fortifications and ambushes
After its accelerated armament in the wake of the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah began investing in improving its precision capabilities with extensive Iranian help.
The IAF has performed hundreds of attacks on facilities in Syria connected to Iran’s effort to improve accuracy of the long-range rockets but Israeli intelligence knows the terror organization still has a “considerable” number of precision rockets.
IDF Explores Ground-to-Ground Rockets; US Co-Production? – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense is written by Arie Egozi for breakingdefense.com