New surface to surface rockets going operational in the IDF

IMI's Romach rockets have GPS navigation and provide new instant guided firepower to the IDF.

By
January 16, 2016 20:22
2 minute read.
IDF West Bank

IDF soldier at West Bank checkpoint at Gush Etzion Junction.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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New surface-to-surface GPS-guided rockets are becoming operational in the IDF.

The Romach rockets, which can hit targets up to 35 km. away, will give the IDF’s Artillery Corps faster ways to respond to sudden security incidents on Israel’s borders, according to their manufacturer Israel Military Industries.

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Within seconds of an ‘open fire’ order, the Artillery Corps’ MLRS Battalion can use them to hit enemy targets, including those whose coordinates have been preprogrammed into a target database, Eli Reiter, who heads IMI’s rocket systems division, said recently.

Reiter, a former senior IDF Armored Corps officer and ex-commander of Division 36, said these types of accurate surface to surface rockets can change the way the IDF deploys its firepower, creating new and faster alternatives to air strikes.

Romach rockets can strike targets within an accuracy range of under 10 meters, and carry a 20-kilogram warhead.

The Romach will, for now, be loaded onto pods used by the IDF’s mobile M270 multiple launch rocket system. In the future, the IDF may acquire IMI’s truck-mounted artillery rocket launcher, called Lynx.

Lynx, which automatically recognizes which rockets have been loaded into it, can fire a range of guided projectiles with various ranges and warhead sizes.

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The Romach is part of the IDF’s gradual increased reliance on guided surface-to-surface firepower provided by the Ground Forces.

Last summer, a senior IDF officer provided details to The Jerusalem Post about the Artillery Corps’ Pere platform, which is designed to look like a tank from the outside, but is in fact an armored guided-missile launcher that can strike enemy targets up to 30 km. away.

The Pere platform, which was converted from the M48 (Magah) tank by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, has been in existence since the early 1980s, when it was deployed to meet the threat of massive Syrian tank formations.

But it is only now that the IDF is prepared to officially acknowledge it.

During Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, the Pere fired 433 missiles at Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza.

At no time did the Pere cross the border into Gaza, as all of its targets were within range of its Tamuz guided missiles.

The IDF Northern Command has in the past called on the Pere to strike targets in Syria, in response to cross-border fire or terrorist attacks

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