Air Weapons: Israeli Rocket Killers

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October 5, 2006: In Lebanon last Summer, the Israelis used a fleet of UAVs, flying 16,000 hours over south Lebanon, to destroy thousands of Hizbollah rocket launchers. Hizbollah still managed to fire some 4,200 rockets into northern Israel, but were only able to kill 40 Israelis, and wound several hundred. While Hizbollah still won a propaganda victory, in practical terms they lost their ability to deliver any kind of accurate fire. In the days just before the ceasefire, Hizbollah rocket firing teams were ordered to just get as many rockets fired, in the direction of Israel, as they could. By then, Hizbollah knew that firing the rockets had become a suicide mission. The Israeli UAVs often caught the Hizbollah men coming out of their bunkers, or other hiding places, with their rockets and launchers. The Israelis were able to get smart bombs, missiles or artillery fire on targets (spotted by UAVs) within minutes, or less than a minute. This led to hundreds of Hizbollah men, assigned to rocket launching teams, getting killed. Naturally, Hizbollah doesn't want to talks about this. According to Hizbollah, the only Lebanese killed were innocent civilians. During the month long war, aircraft and helicopters flew about 400 sorties a day. But it was the UAVs, which were up there on rocket spotting missions for about 360 flight hours a day, that did the most damage to the Hizbollah rocket effort, turning it into a propaganda, rather than a military, weapon.

 


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