Israel’s Ballistic Missile Arsenal: A List Of The Top Defense Systems

This article delves into the extensive range of Israel’s ballistic missile arsenal , with a particular focus on the Jericho family of ballistic missiles and the LORA missile system.

Israel’s missile inventory serves as evidence of its technological expertise and strategic determination. From short-range artillery rockets to long-range ballistic missiles, Israel possesses a robust arsenal that acts as a powerful deterrent against potential adversaries. This article delves into the extensive range of Israel’s ballistic missile arsenal, with a particular focus on the Jericho family of ballistic missiles and the LORA missile system. Each of these weapon systems fulfils a unique function in protecting Israel’s security and maintaining its dominant position in the region.

Israel’s Ballistic Missile Arsenal

The Jericho 3, an intermediate-range ballistic missile, possesses uncertain stages, with conflicting reports suggesting either two or three. This missile measures approximately 15.5-16 meters in length and has a body diameter of 1.56 meters. Its launch weight is estimated to be around 29,000 kilograms, while its payload ranges from 1,000 to 1,300 kilograms. Equipped with a 750-kilogram nuclear warhead, the missile’s yield is believed to be between 150 and 400 kilotons. Additionally, it is suspected that the payload includes decoys and potentially multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles (MIRV) in cases where a smaller nuclear yield is utilized. With a range spanning from 4,800 to 6,500 kilometres, the Jericho 3 employs inertial guidance alongside a radar-guided warhead. A Jericho 3 missile, equipped with a payload of up to 1,000 kilograms, could provide Israel with the capacity to launch a nuclear strike against any Middle Eastern nation, including Iran. These missiles are reportedly stationed in underground caves in Zacharia, situated southwest of Tel Aviv.

The Jericho 2, which has been in operation since 1989, is an Israeli medium-range ballistic missile that uses solid fuel. It is designed to be mobile and has a warhead that separates from the missile. With a length of 15.0 m and a diameter of 1.35 m, the missile weighs approximately 22,000 kg at launch. It carries a single high explosive or nuclear warhead and is propelled by a two-stage solid propellant. The Jericho 2 has a maximum range of 1,500 – 3,500 km and can carry a payload of up to 1,500 kg or a nuclear warhead weighing up to 1 MT. It can be launched from different platforms, including a silo, railroad flat truck, or TEL vehicle. This mobility allows for concealment, quick movement, or storage in a fortified silo, enhancing its resistance to pre-emptive attacks.

The Jericho 1, developed by Israel, is a solid-fuelled, two-stage ballistic missile. It has a length of 13.4 meters, a diameter of 0.8 meters, and a launch weight of 6,700 kilograms. With a range of 500 kilometres, it can carry a payload of up to 650 kilograms. This payload can include a 450-kilogram high explosive warhead, a 20-kiloton nuclear warhead, or potentially a chemical warhead. The missile can be launched from a railroad flat truck or a TEL vehicle and is known for its accuracy of 1,000 meters CEP. The Jericho 1’s range allowed it to target major cities like Damascus and Cairo, contributing significantly to Israel’s security and strategic deterrence capabilities.

The LORA missile system, which was developed by Israel, is a long-range ballistic missile that has a length of 5.2m, a diameter of 625mm, and a weight of 1,600kg. It can engage targets at both short ranges of 90km and long ranges of up to 430km. The system is composed of the missile itself, a launcher, a command-and-control system, and a ground/marine support system. This missile system is highly accurate and can effectively hit a variety of targets, including tactical surface-to-surface missiles (SSM), air bases, multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) units, air and missile defence units, and command posts. It has a ballistic assault capability with an accuracy of 10m circular error probable (CEP) and is equipped with various warheads, such as multi-purpose, blast fragmentation, and penetration types. To guide the missile to its target, the LORA weapon system is equipped with a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and an inertial navigation system (INS). The missile’s propulsion system includes a single-stage solid rocket motor and integrates all-electric drives with no hydraulics. This missile system can provide effective destruction capabilities with fewer munitions, making it a significant asset in modern warfare.