Israel weighing long-range surface-to-surface missile acquisition

Israel weighing long-range surface-to-surface missile acquisition

The Israeli army is interested in surface-to-surface missiles with a range that could reach targets inside neighboring Lebanon, reports Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The Israeli Army currently uses the Romach artillery rocket system, which is guided by GPS and can hit targets up to 35 kilometers with a circular error probability (CEP) of less than 10 meters. The Romach is armed with a 20 kg warhead.

The Israeli army plans to use these rockets when the air force can carry out limited operations or when it is occupied with other missions. The goal is to include a rocket battalion in every maneuvering division of the army.

The focus of their interest is a pair of developments – IMI Systems’ Extra rocket and Israel Aerospace Industries’ LORA surface-to-surface missile.

The Extra has a range of 150 km with CEP close to the Romach, and is armed with a 120 kg warhead. Around 600 of these rockets have been sold to export customers for an estimated $300,000 per rocket. 200 Extra rockets have been reportedly sold to Vietnam.

LORA has a range of 300 km, and is armed with a 600 kg warhead. The missile can be fired from land or sea. Israeli defense officials had previously considered this option but turned it down. LORA costs approximately $785,000 per missile.

Israel weighing long-range surface-to-surface missile acquisition
Infograph by Haaretz

IMI Systems is also developing a long-range rocket, called the Predator Hawk. This rocket has a range of up to 300 km and can carry a 200 kg warhead according to an industry analyst.

Some Israeli Air Force officials opposed plans to acquire long-range missile systems though, arguing that carrying out such missions lies under the responsibility of the Air Force.

According to Israeli defense officials, the army is now weighing the economic repercussions of equipping the military with hundreds of such rockets and missiles.