Artillery: Iranian Ballistic Missiles in Lebanon

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July 19, 2006: Israel reported it's aircraft have destroyed an Iranian Zelzal ballistic missile in southern Lebanon. The Zelzal is a 610mm, 50 foot long, 3.5 ton missile with a range of 160 kilometers, and carrying a 1,300 pound high explosive warhead. The missile can also carry chemical or biological weapons in its warhead, but there was no evidence of this in the Zelzal that Israel destroyed. The Zelzal does uses a crude guidance system, which would be adequate against large urban areas. The missile is carried, and launched from, a special heavy truck. Development on the Zelzal began in the mid-1990s.
The Zelzal has a solid fuel rocket motor, and thus creates a characteristic smoke and light show when the rocket motor is set off by a nearby explosion. Lebanese photos of a Zelzal missile crashing to the ground (after the rocket motor partially ignited after a missile from an Israeli F-15 hit it), were mistakenly labeled by Arab media as an Israeli F-16 crashing, after being hit by Lebanese anti-aircraft fire. But a close examination of the photo shows it is not a jet fighter coming down. There were reports of Hizbollah receiving Iranian missiles, via Syria, in 2004.
There has also been evidence of Syrian, Russian made, BM-27 rockets being fired into northern Israel.

 


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