Israel Increases Precision Guided Rocket Arsenal with IMI Systems precision-guided rockets

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Israel’s defense ministry has placed a major order for a number of IMI Systems precision-guided rockets and rocket systems to equip the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) artillery corps.

Although Israel has faced rocket attacks since 1968, the IDF remained reluctant to field such weapons on a large scale, particularly due to their lack of accuracy, limited range and safety issues when fired at close proximity to friendly forces.

Although the IDF fielded the US MLRS rocket system, the Artillery Corps insisted its accuracy be improved, making Israel the first (and only) M270 user to deploy Trajectory Correction Systems with the standard MLRS.

In recent years, precision-guided rockets developed by IMI attracted the IDF attention, In 2017 the IDF approved the acquisition of the first batch of IMI ‘Spear’ (Romach) 122mm GPS guided rockets for its MLRS battalions, enabling the units to deploy much more accurate fires at ranges up to 40 km.

Each Spear-equipped rocket launcher operates independently and can launch a salvo of 18 independently targeted munitions in 60 seconds. Each rocket carries a unitary warhead weighing 20-35kg kg.

Two warheads are available – a penetration warhead used against structures and fortifications and blast-fragmentation warhead using controlled fragmentation. Both can hit their targets at an accuracy of higher than 10 meters CEP.

The Spear is based on IMI AccuLAR rockets that were sold worldwide.

The current order establishes initial munitions stocks of the 122mm rockets, and also add new systems to the IDF inventory (these are likely the 300 mm Extra rockets, capable of hitting targets at ranges up to 150 km with the AccuLAR precision.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman indicated that as part of the current and future quadrennial plan the IDF will establish a missile force that will be able to hold at risk any relevant target in the region.

Such capabilities are enabled today only by the Israel Air Force (IAF) whose air bases are within the range of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iranian missiles and rockets. Precision-guided rockets deployed on vehicular platforms, naval vessels and aircraft could provide a massive, yet flexible response even under enemy attack.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has successfully completed a firing trial with the Long-Range Artillery weapon system (LORA), marking as part of the demonstration and validation phases of the system, under a number of procurement programs involve the system. On this experiment, the missile was launched from a cargo ship toward a target at sea. Photo: IAI

Three Israeli defense industries are hoping to fulfill orders to equip the new force. IMI, Israel’s largest rocket manufacturer has supplied 300mm EXTRA guided rockets to a number of export customers.

The company offers several types of guided rockets in the 160mm, 160mm, 300mm and 600 mm diameters, covering ranges of 30-300 km.

IAI has developed several guidance kits for rockets, including a kit for the popular 122mm GRAD rocket. IAI also developed and exported the Long Range Attack (LORA) ballistic missile, that can deploy a 500 kg warhead at targets at ranges of 400 km. LORA missiles were recently displayed on the national parade in Azerbaijan.

Both IAI and IMI offer guided rockets based on satellite navigation technology that may be compromised by GPS jammers.

RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems, the third manufacturer seeking sales of rockets to the IDF, has developed similar weapons guided by a unique, jam-proof scene matching technique.

The company offers the EPIK electro-optical guidance kit derived from the SPICE aerial weapon, enabling a rocket to become a guided weapon with absolute precision, without relying on GPS or other references that may be jammed deceived by the enemy.

RAFAEL’s EPIK adds a scene matching guidance system to a rocket, to provide a fast, highly accurate standoff weapon. Photo: RAFAEL

 

A 122mm rocket equipped with EPIK guidance kit undergoing test. Photo: RAFAEL

In recent years, the company is focusing on the development and production of weapons systems and defense technology with an emphasis on multi-purpose precision weapons systems, rocket systems as well as upgrading armored vehicles, all for land, air and naval forces.

IMI Systems developed a variety of precise rocket systems for the ranges of 15-300 km. The “Predator Hawk” is a 300 km range rocket with an accuracy level of less than 10 meters CEP. Developed by the IMI Systems the 370 mm caliber and 5 meters long rocket can carry a variety of 200 kg warheads

EXTRA – An accurate rocket for the range of 150 km

An accurate rocket designed to enable ground and marine forces to neutralize targets a at ranges up to 150 KM and at a significantly lower cost than the currently known in the industry.

The highly accurate 150 km range EXTRA rocket offers an accuracy level of approximately 10 meters CEP. Developed by the IMI Systems the 306 mm caliber and 4.5 meters length rocket can carry a variety of warheads at the weight of 120 kg.

ACCULAR – A precision guided rocket for the range of 40 km designed to assist maneuvering forces

The rocket can accurately and effectively hit artillery targets that cannot be neutralized by traditional artillery.

At 40 km (25 miles) range Accular offers an especially high accuracy level of 10 meters CEP. Developed by the IMI Systems, the 122 mm caliber and 3 meters long rocket can carry various  penetration or HE warhead.

CDMS – An innovative coastal and island protection system

A unique, innovative coastal defense system aimed to protect coasts and land-based strategic sites. The CDMS (Coast Defense Missiles System) provides a complete solution for protecting sites located by the shore, on islands and in economic water and is designed to detect and attack targets at sea and along the seashores.

CDMS’ advantages include rapid deployment, simple operation, high efficiency in long- range, accuracy in striking targets and mainly in competitive price compared to other alternatives. The system uses the improved EXTRA and ACCULAR missiles, which during recent years have proved outstanding performance along with a very high level of precision.

The system’s missiles travel at the speed of several Mach allowing an extremely fast target’s attack and due to the missiles’ maneuverability, the system’s operators can attack and hit targets in motion at very high accuracy.

The system offers a total solution for operational needs, from sensors which provide maritime picture, through remote control mobile or static launchers and accurate missiles for attacking targets at the range of  15 – 150 km.

The CDMA components are linked in a dedicated command and control system which analyzes threats’ situation in real-time, takes decisions regarding attacking targets and strikes targets remotely without the intervention of operators after launching. The system allows simultaneous attack of land static targets and vessels in motion while using versatile missiles designed for a variety of tasks.

Each system component – mobile or static launchers, command and control systems, radars, etc.,-  provides the system with a flexible and versatile configuration that can be easily adjusted in accordance with various requirements of different customers.

The stand alone system is completely independent in performing tasks and can be simply integrated with any sensor or existing command and control solution which are already in current use by the armies which have purchased it. Such combination is a power multiplier, both for system-based attacking abilities as well as for the increased extraction of existing capabilities available to customers.

SPEAR (Romach) – An advanced IMI Systems’ rocket, recently approved by the IDF’s Artillery Corps for operational use

During the recent months the advanced artillery business unit of IMI Systems developed and delivered the “Spear” rocket for the advanced artillery rocketing systems of the Artillery Corps.

The Spear is a precise rocket with an accuracy of less than 10 meters CEP, designed to destroy targets in both deep in the battlefield zone as well as provide the maneuvering forces with close assistance.

M454 S-HE (Super High-Explosive) 155 mm projectile

IMI systems developed an innovative artillery projectile designed for 5 times the effectiveness of standard explosive shells

As part of the its expertise in large caliber ammunition, IMI systems has developed an innovative 155 mm artillery projectile – M454 S-HE (Super High-Explosive).

The uniqueness of this projectile, which is being presented at the exhibition – is in improving two significant elements: hitting angle and advanced warhead which provide the projectile with 5 times the effectiveness, compared to a standard High Explosive shell.

The striking angle is achieved using a unique technology based on airdrop of the warhead over the target. The warhead is equipped with advanced Controlled Fragmentation technology which on the one hand increases the effectiveness of the round and reduces the collateral damage on the other.

120 mm accurate mortar shell

IMI Systems has developed a new generation of 120 mm accurate mortar shells for a variety of mortars and wide range of requirements

PERM (Precision Extended Range Munition)

‘IMI Systems in cooperation with the US company Raytheon, won a tender to supply the PERM – an accurate mortar shell designed to be used in 120 mm mortars. The unique capabilities of a mortar shell include, inter alia, an operational flexibility and superior precision in hitting targets, even when the mortar cane is placed without an independent measurement system. This capability expands the fire support capabilities even under particular severe weather conditions.

The precision capabilities eliminate the need for spotting targets, thus allowing hitting the target with the first bomb, which means higher effectiveness, attack by surprise and significantly reducing the logistics tail resulting in an extended operational capability.

Designed to match weapon systems and military doctrine of the US Marines corps, the new mortar bomb offers an extended range of approximately 13 km, accuracy achieved by GPS and inertial navigation system (INS)

Dokran – A 120 mm caliber accurate mortar shell

The mortar shell suitable for any mortar with such caliber used the IDF and advanced armies in the world, including the Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Dokran meets the operational needs of the IDF as well as advanced armies around the world, which require accuracy, minimum collateral damage and precise and qualitative hitting of targets and infrastructures in open spaces, as well as in low intensity conflict in populated urban areas,.

The mortar precision provides infantry forces with the ability to hit qualitative targets in populated areas from a long distance, while ensuring the survivability and protection of the forces, minimizing the operational risk as well as obviating the need for complex and vulnerable “logistical tail” due to reducing the required amount of bombs (first shell hits the target).

Thanks to its unique characteristics the mortar shell can reach a range of approximately 8 km and function in impact or airburst modes. The use of different warheads will enable handling a wide range of targets and threats such as enemy forces sheltering in buildings, extensive vegetation or armored vehicles.

IMI Systems expands the MPR family for all standard warheads’ sizes

IMI Systems showcases in Eurosatory the MPR500 bomb, which entered operational service and was proven in “Protective Edge” operation.

Thanks to its ability to address the unrelenting demands of minimizing the harm of innocent bystanders as well as its proven accuracy and reliability, it was the weapon of choice for  the Air Force.

Given the success, IMI systems began to develop a family of bombs based upon the MPR500 advantages:

MPR1000 bomb is similar to the MK83, however, offers an immensely better performance. The development and experiments’ stage has been successfully completed and indicates much better capabilities than required.

MPR2000 bomb was developed on the same principle while aiming at a higher performance level of requirements, including similar reliability level of  the operational proven MPR500.

MPR-500 – designed to be dropped from a fighter jet, the MPR-500 is being developed by IMI systems to meet air force and ground corps’ requirements.

Developed to allow combat operation in close proximity to friendly forces without affecting operational efficiency the MPR-500 bomb can hit targets hidden inside buildings while preventing collateral damage.

Widely used in the “Protective Edge” operation, MPR500 has been proven as highly accurate and reliable and its capabilities allow the destruction of a specific floor inside the structure. This is due to the development of unique components with distinct advantages over standard air bombs, as well as the weapon’s resilience which eliminating the fracturing and / or bouncing during the hit, thus preventing harming friendly forces on the ground.

Although compatible with General Purpose Bomb in terms of dimensional parameters, the MPR500 allows a significantly better controlled penetration and fragmentation performance compared to equivalent bombs around the world and with a higher level of operational flexibility.

Due to its technical features, the bomb, in combination with the standard homing and guidance systems such as the JDAM (GPS) and PAVEWAY (laser spot homing), allows a diversity of performance. The bomb is an international breakthrough in terms of attacking ground targets and provides the Air Force with operational flexibility and control in the required result, while meeting an unprecedented armament reliability level.

IMI systems guarantees that the high level of bomb’s reliability exceeds 95% in a significantly wide range of operating capabilities compared to any general-purpose bomb, including those which are 4 times heavier

“Hatzav” – 120mm multi-purpose tank round

The “Hatzav” round of IMI Systems, which was firstly implemented in the Merkava mark 3 and mark 4 tanks, becomes a main military ammunition of the armored corps.

The “Hatzav” round developed by IMI Systems and in collaboration with the Tank Planning Directorate (TPD) and the Ground Forces Command (GFC) following the lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War, where the existing “Halolan” munition was not efficient enough for dealing with enemy forces operating out of buildings and fortifications, especially in populated areas.

The “Hatzav”  round offers a higher precision and efficiency, even when firing a single round, against enemy forces hiding and attacking from buildings / fortifications and light armored vehicles, while significantly reducing collateral damage.

The “Hatzav”  round is unique and as part of the advanced  Calanit and Rakefet tank rounds’ family, can penetrate various types of walls and explode within the targets right after penetrating. Its warhead contains a unique explosive and fragmentation material providing its high lethal capability.

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