Israel unveils Rafael's new advanced bunker buster missile, 'Rocks'

The air-to-surface missile can be fired from a significant standoff range, reducing exposure of the aircraft.

February 21, 2019 04:10
2 minute read.
The "Rocks" system deployed on an F-16 fighter jet

The "Rocks" system deployed on an F-16 fighter jet. (photo credit: RAFAEL ADVANCED DEFENSE SYSTEMS)


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With tensions still high between Israel and Iran a new air-to-surface long-range missile designed to destroy targets deep underground in heavily defended areas has been developed by Israeli defense giant Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Dubbed “Rocks,” the innovative missile is being presented this week for the first time at the Aero India Air Show in Bangalore, India.

Earlier in February, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander threatened to "raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground" if the United States attacked the Islamic Republic.
According to a statement released by Rafael, the new missile is equipped with a penetration or blast fragmentation warhead that is capable of destroying targets above the surface or deep underground in heavily surface-to-air defended areas.

It can be used against quality targets, whether stationary or mobile, and even in areas where the enemy uses countermeasures against GPS systems.

“‘Rocks’ uses its INS/GPS for mid-course navigation while homing on to the target is performed by using its EO seeker and advanced image processing algorithms, which ensures hitting targets with great precision, overcoming GPS jamming or denial,” read the statement.

“Rocks” will be launched from a significant standoff range, far beyond the usual coverage areas of enemy air defense systems. It performs a high velocity trajectory toward the target, reducing the exposure of the aircraft as well as improving the chances of successfully hitting targets.

“‘Rocks’ provides a cutting edge and cost-effective solution that combines several combat-proven technologies inherited from our latest generation SPICE system. “Rocks” effectively answers a growing demand for long range, GPS-independent Air-to-Ground precision strike capability,” said Yuval Miller, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of Rafael’s Air & C4ISR Systems Division.

“Aero India is an excellent opportunity to present this new system, and we can proudly say that today Rafael is well-situated in India with a broad industrial base, joint-ventures, indigenous companies and a substantial supply-chain,” Miller added.

Also on Wednesday, Rafael businessman Avihai Stolero announced that the company had finalized a merger agreement to acquire Yavne-based unmanned aerial systems (UAV) manufacturer, Aeronautics in a deal worth some NIS 850 million ($235m.).

Under the terms of the acquisition, the companies will seek to retain the employees of Aeronautics, who will receive a total of NIS 8.5 million ($2.35m.) as part of the deal.

Aeronautics will then become a full subsidiary of a new company jointly owned by Rafael and Stolero, and will be de-listed from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Eytan Halon contributed to this report.

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