Report: Israel develops first cruise missile

/ Source: The Associated Press

Israel has developed its first surface-to-surface cruise missile with a range of at least 180 miles, according to a report to be published in Jane’s Defence Weekly and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Jane’s will publish the report June 16.

Called the Delilah-GL (ground launch), the missile could reach the territory of all of Israel’s neighbors. Iran, however, would be out of range. The weapon fulfills Israel’s 10-year quest for a such a missile, experts told the London-based publication.

The Delilah-GL is an adaptation of the Delilah, its air-launched predecessor, Jane’s said, quoting officials at Israel Military Industries, where the missile is made.

The missile, powered by a turbojet engine, has a range of 155 miles, IMI said, but defense officials told Jane’s that the missile could reach “well beyond 300 kilometers” or 180 miles.

The advanced missile, which includes a high explosive 66-pound warhead, is guided by a global positioning system. It can also hover over an area before confirming its target through real-time visual intelligence transmitted back to the operator, Jane’s reported.

The missile can be fitted with various payloads. One is an infrared device with electro-optical seekers for target acquisition and guidance. It can identify a target from a range of nine miles, Jane’s said.

Israel developed the technology after a decade of trying to obtain surface-to-surface cruise missiles. The United States has twice denied Israeli requests to buy the Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile, Jane’s reported.

In the 1980s, Israel deployed its own long-range surface-to-surface missile, called Jericho II. Foreign reports say it has a range of at least 900 miles, can carry a payload of 2,200 pounds and is suitable for nuclear weapons.