Ground forces aim for new rocket systems

IDF Artillery Corps seeks new budget to aid future conflict with Hizbullah.

Lebanon Israel border map (photo credit: Courtesy)
Lebanon Israel border map
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In an effort to increase its precision strike capabilities ahead of any future conflict with Hizbullah in Lebanon, the IDF Artillery Corps is aiming to receive a new budget from the IDF next year to purchase new advanced accurate rocket systems.
The multiyear plan, under review by the IDF’s Planning Division, is to be approved by the General Staff and inserted into the IDF’s multiyear plan, to go into effect in 2011.
Accular, developed by Israel Military Industries (IMI), is a 60 mm. autonomous surface-to-surface missile guided by a GPS system that puts it within 10 meters of a target. The rocket, designed to destroy artillery batteries and infantry command posts, was successfully tested several months ago in the South.
The missile’s guidance and navigation is performed by a flight computer, which includes a GPS, while the control of the missile is achieved by the jet pulses, which enable trajectory correction for precise strikes.
The missile is fired from a new launcher developed by IMI called Lynx, which is designed to fire a variety of rockets – 160 mm., 122 mm. and 300 mm.
The launcher is loaded on the back of a truck and can be reloaded in less than 10 minutes.
The IDF is also looking at EXTRA, under development by IMI, which has a range of 150 km. and carries a 120 kg. warhead.
Both systems would be operated by the Artillery Corps and would be used to attack static targets like radar stations and military bases. “Our precision rocket capabilities will grow significantly in the coming years,” a senior Ground Forces Command officer said Thursday.
Behind the requirement to obtain longer-range rockets with great precision is an overall IDF desire to take some of the load off the Israel Air Force and allow it to focus strictly on strategic targets deep in enemy territory.
With the new rocket systems, the IDF will create a division of responsibility between the Artillery Corps and IAF to clarify who is responsible for which targets and at which ranges. “This will allow a much better use of our resources,” the officer said.
Another missile under review is the Jumper, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries, which can function as an autonomous artillery system for infantry forces operating behind enemy lines. The system includes a 3x3 canister that can be deployed in enemy territory.
Soldiers, operating a significant distance away, can then insert coordinates of their desired target and fire one of the eight missiles inside the canister.
The missiles then “jump” out of the vertical launch hive to precisely strike targets at ranges of up to 50 kilometers. The system’s autonomous capability enables troops to distance themselves from the missile launcher, whose position will likely be compromised after it fires at enemy forces.