Hamas displays long-range rockets

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Analysis: Hamas displays long-range rockets





Hamas militants with the 'Qassam ??' rocket mounted on the back of a Kamaz truck. Source: PA Photos
The Palestinian militant group Hamas provided an insight into its rocket manufacturing programme on 14 December when it paraded its longer-range models for the first time through Gaza city.

The rockets on display included the self-produced J-90 and R-160, as well as a quad launcher for the M-75 and what appeared to be an Iranian-made 333 mm Fajr-5.

Hamas announced the existence of both the J-90 and R-160 in July, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were attempting to suppress the group's rocket attacks with Operation 'Protective Edge', but this is the first time the rockets have been seen clearly.

The R-160's 160 km range is similar to that of the Syrian-made M-302 rockets that the IDF said have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip. The rocket displayed on 14 December also appeared to have a similar calibre as the 302 mm M-302. However, its rear fin assembly was clearly different from the M-302 rockets that the Israeli Navy found in an arms shipment heading from Iran to Sudan in March.

Possibly more intriguingly was that the group also paraded a new rocket that is even larger than the R-160, labelled as the 'Qassam ??'.

Given that the numbers in the names of Hamas-made rockets reflect their claimed maximum ranges, the use of question marks in the rocket's designation appears to be a deliberate attempt to prompt speculation about its capabilities.

The photographs of the rocket on the back of a Kamaz truck allow its size to be estimated: it has a length of approximately 6.6 m and a diameter of around 425 mm. This would make it significantly larger than the R-160, so theoretically it could have a range in excess of 160 km.

There would ostensibly be little point in fielding a rocket with a longer range as the R-160 is already capable of reaching nearly all Israeli population centres that Hamas could hope to hit with an unguided rocket. However, Hamas might be hoping to develop a rocket that can be fired at such a steep trajectory that it cannot be effectively intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system.

Iron Dome was originally designed to intercept short-range artillery rockets, but its capabilities have been expanded so that it can engage a broader range of threats, including the Fajr-5. The David's Sling system that is designed to fill the gap between Iron Dome and the Arrow 2 ballistic missile defence system is not operational as yet.

The group also displayed one of its Ababil unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on the back of a truck and at least one other flew over the parade. Hamas first announced it was producing UAVs and flying them into Israel during Operation 'Protective Edge'.

The Ababil that was paraded on the back of the truck appeared to use off-the-shelf components, including an air-cooled flat-four engine and a transmitter handset from a remote-control model kit. The transparent dome covering its optics appeared to be similar to ones used for CCTV cameras.

With a wingspan well in excess of 3 m, the Ababil's radar cross-section is so large that it can apparently be easily engaged by ground-based air defence systems. The IDF said they shot down two of them using Patriot surface-to-air missiles on 14 and 17 July.

The parade also included militants armed with what appeared to be AM-50 anti-materiel rifles (the Iranian-made version of the Steyr HS .50) and a variety of anti-tank weapons, including the North Korean version of the 9K111 Fagot guided missile system and what looked like an RPG-29 Vampir rocket launcher.

The website of Iran's Ministry of Defence Export Centre says that the country produces a version of the RPG-29 called the Ghadir. It adds that the Ghadir's tandem-shaped charge warhead can penetrate 600 mm of steel after defeating an outer layer of explosive-reactive armour.




Two Hamas militants with the North Korean version of the 9K111 Fagot guided anti-tank missile system. The North Korean version can be identified by the different optical sight and a smaller housing for the processing system. (palinfo.com)

Hamas militants parade a quad M75 rocket launcher and what appears to be a 333 mm Fajr-5 tube-launched rocket mounted on the back of a vehicle. (palinfo.com)

Two J-90 rockets on the back of a vehicle. (palinfo.com)

Hamas militants armed with .50 anti-materiel rifles, probably Iranian-made AM-50s rather than the Steyr HS .50. (palinfo.com)

An R-160 rocket is displayed on the back of a Kamaz truck. (palinfo.com)

Hamas militants with one of the group's Ababil UAVs. (PA Photos)



Analysis: Hamas displays long-range rockets - IHS Jane's 360

@Falcon29 %-)
 

Falcon29

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The J90 was not available in July. That was J80. The R-160 at time was not Hamas made, it was smuggled. Now they have taken proper measures to produce similar version at home. The Quad launcher was available. If they increase arsenal of rockets they can create larger launchers. However they can't get necassary material to produce large quantities. From late 2012 to summer 2014 they were able to produce around 200 M75 rockets. This needs to be scaled up if possible. Once Egyptian army finishes operation in Sinai and withdrawes it may become easier.

The larger rocket most likely will be named after Ahmed Yassin. J80/90 is named after Ahmed Jabari. R-160 is named after Rantisi. So I expect new rocket to be named Yassin 180 possibly.

They have difficulty getting warheads. Many of their rockets aren't fitted with warheads. Only some of the time they are. It all depends on what they can get but right now they still need to re-arm. I say about another year they should be where they were before war. But that isn't enough either. They need to try doing more but it isn't in their hands. Also I notice they are working on quality now and trying to diversify arsenal. Which is step in right direction.

Btw, anything under 250km is considered short range. Hamas doesn't have long range rockets.
 
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Are these not just the same Qassam rockets launched by Hamas at the start of the Second Intifada? Decade-old weaponry is not a major threat right now.
 

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Are these not just the same Qassam rockets launched by Hamas at the start of the Second Intifada? Decade-old weaponry is not a major threat right now.
I think these are new ones.

Hamas will take anything that fires be it old or new. So far they have shown their effectiveness however, they are not very accurate since they lack guidance systems.
 
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They are still no threat to Israel. I hope this doesn't lead to more violence but it will most likely will.
 

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Are these not just the same Qassam rockets launched by Hamas at the start of the Second Intifada? Decade-old weaponry is not a major threat right now.
No they aren't in any similar ....

They are still no threat to Israel. I hope this doesn't lead to more violence but it will most likely will.
How does arming yourself lead to violence? So does US arming of Israel lead to more violence?
 

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