By Yaron Steinbuch
Source: New York Post
The Iranian military has unveiled what it claims is a conversion kit that converts artillery rockets into surface-to-surface missiles – technology that Israel has accused Tehran of trying to deliver to Hezbollah, according to a report.
The Islamic Republic unveiled the new guidance system upgrade — called Labeik – last week at an event where several new military technologies were showcased, according to a report in Jane’s Defence Weekly.
The system appeared to be similar to the guidance systems in the Fateh-110 family of solid-propellant missiles, many of which are believed to be in the hands of Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, The Times of Israel reported.
The new system also appears to be compatible with Zelzal heavy artillery rockets, according to the report by Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Video of the new conversion system shown on Iranian TV shows a short body featuring four inverted fins that can be fitted between the rocket and its payload.
Uzi Rubin, one of the pioneers of Israel’s earliest attempts at missile defense, told The Times of Israel that Iran has already been converting artillery rockets into missiles.
But “what’s new here are the aerodynamics of the winglets — very unique, unseen in Iran to date and unseen in any other country,” he told the news outlet.
“Going to indigenous design rather than copying others indicates self-confidence. The purpose of the new and unique aerodynamics is probably to increase the maneuverability of the converted rockets,” Rubin added.
Asked if the latest development had any implications for Hezbollah’s missile program or how the Jewish state deals with the terror group, Rubin replied that it “definitely” did.
“This is exactly the ‘precision rocket’ project that Netanyahu and the IDF regard as a red line,” he said.
Hezbollah is believed to have more than 150,000 missiles, but only a small number of them can be guided to specific targets.
Israel is worried that in a future war, the terror group could use a barrage of precision missiles to attack sensitive sites and overwhelm the country’s air defense system.