Israeli Military to Establish New Ground-to-ground Missile Force

Defense minister instructs army to set up new unit for missiles with range of up to 300 kilometers

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IMI EXTRA (EXtended Range Artillery Rocket) 306mm artillery rocket system, March 8, 2017. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman has instructed the Israel Defense Forces to establish a new force of ground-to-ground missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported on Friday.

This unit will be part of the army’s ground forces. Lieberman has approved an initial amount of half a billion dollars, coming out of the defense budget for new projects.

According to the report, the goal is to set up a mid-range missile unit. At first, however, it will include missiles with a range of 150 kilometers,  consisting of EXTRA (Extended-range artillery) missiles, which Israel Military Industries is already manufacturing for foreign armies.

Avigdor Lieberman outside the Kastina military courthouse, March 29, 2016.Credit: Ilan Assayag

Israeli naval vessels will also be equipped with these missiles, which will also be adopted for use by Israel Air Force.

At a later stage, missiles with a range of 300 kilometers will be added. Lieberman made this decision at a meeting held in his office in early January.

The project could cost up to 7 billion shekels ($2 billion), spread out over a decade, depending on the number of missiles the Israeli military will acquire.