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Missile Last updated: February, 2013

Israel manufactures and deploys technologically sophisticated and diverse ballistic missile, cruise missile, and missile defense systems. [1] Several overarching themes characterize Israel's missile program. First, Israel's strategy of maintaining a "qualitative military edge" over potential adversaries motivated the country to rapidly develop one of the region's most capable missile production infrastructures, and to deploy the region's most advanced missile systems. [2] Second, Israel's space program provides an additional venue for advanced ballistics science and rocketry engineering, and has collaborated technologically with Israel's missile community­. [3] Third, Israel has often offset the high costs of developing and maintaining a superior missile capability both by entering into international development collaborations and by exporting and licensing its missile technology. [4] Finally, Israel has developed a layered and multi-faceted portfolio of both offensive and defensive missile programs to address the aerial threats posed by a diverse set of both state and non-state actors, operating from different geographic locations and equipped with different types of weaponry. [5]

Most estimates of Israel's missile capabilities indicate that Israel possesses nuclear-capable medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM); short-range sub-sonic cruise missiles with advanced capabilities such as non-line of sight targeting (NLOS) and midflight maneuverability; and significant defensive missile capabilities. [6] The United States offers substantial technology sharing and support for Israel's "qualitative military edge," having provided technical partnerships and monetary assistance for both offensive and defensive Israeli missile programs. [7] Israel likely also participated in historical missile development collaborations with Iran under the Shah and with South Africa. [8] While Israel is not a formal participant in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), it is considered a "unilateral adherent" to the MTCR's trade restrictions. [9] Some have noted that MTCR restrictions impose more substantial economic costs on Israel than on any current MTCR member. [10] Overall, Israel's unique security situation makes a departure from a national security strategy emphasizing technological superiority unlikely, thus providing continued motivation for Israeli investments in advanced missile technology. [11]

Capabilities

See details concerning Israel's missile design characteristics. The information found in these tables represents the best available open source estimates.

Jane's Information Group considers Israel's missile manufacturing base to be the most advanced in the region. [12] While Israel does not release detailed information about its missile inventory, most observers believe that the medium-range Jericho-2 remains the operational core of Israel's ballistic missile deployments. The Jericho-2 boasts an estimated 1,500km range with a 1,000km payload, a range which would encompass all of Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, but only the border regions of western Iran; some observers, however, have assessed the missile to possess a 3,500km range, which would reach all of Iran. [13] Jericho-2 reportedly uses terminal guidance similar to the radar guidance in the American Pershing-2 missile, which would increase the missile's accuracy. [14]

Israel and Iran possess the only cruise missile programs in the region. However, Israel's cruise missile arsenal, with a maximum sea-based range of 1,500km, far outpaces the 120km maximum range of Iran's missiles. [15] Israel and Iran also possess the only missile defense systems in the region, though experts also assess Israel's technology to be significantly more advanced than Iran's in this area. [16]

History

1948 to 1968: Early Rocketry and French Collaboration
In 1948, Israel established the Science Corps within the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to develop Israel's defense technology base. From 1948 to 1951 the Science Corps cultivated Israel's nascent missile manufacturing infrastructure in the Ministry of Defense, which in 1958 became Israel's national weapons development authority (Rafael). [17] Rafael first built sounding rockets and experimental ballistic missiles in the late 1950s and early 1960s, moving Israel's ballistic missile program from concept to prototype. In 1958, after four years of development, Rafael tested the Luz – a land attack missile with a range of approximately 27km. [18] On 5 July 1961, Rafael launched Israel's first rocket – the Shavit-2 sounding rocket, an experimental meteorological rocket. [19] According to Tal Inbar, Head of the Space Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air & Space Strategic Studies in Israel, Israel pursued the Shavit-2 primarily to launch a rocket before the Egyptians so that Egypt could not "declare its superiority over Israel in the field of missilery." [20]

In the wake of two wars against hostile Arab neighbors in 1948 and 1956, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion increasingly worried that Israel could be outnumbered and overwhelmed in a conventional conflict, and thus saw an increasing need for Israel to acquire weapons capable of "massive retaliation." [21] This reaction was consistent with the long-standing opinion of both Ben-Gurion and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that superior military technology would provide for Israel's survival and security. [22]

Such an outlook would also have increased Israel's determination to quickly develop its missile capability in 1962, when Egypt publicly displayed its new Al-Zafer and Al-Kaher rockets. [23] After internal debate, the Ben-Gurion government decided to commission the French firm Dassault Aviation to produce the Jericho-1 missile for the Israeli military. The Dassault contract, signed in Tel Aviv in April 1963 and dubbed "Operation Jericho," specified a single-stage MD-620 all-weather missile deployable by either fixed or mobile launcher. In terms of range and payload, Israel specified a range between 250km and 500km, with a payload of 750kg and a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of under 1km. [24] France flight-tested the missile 16 times from a French airbase between 1965 and 1968, and the ten successful launches demonstrated a viable missile with a 450km range. [25] France ultimately delivered 14 complete Jericho-1 missiles to Israel. [26]

1969 to 1973: From Customer to Manufacturer
The political fallout from the 1967 Six-Day War severely strained French-Israeli relations, and by December 1968 France suspended all arms deliveries to Israel. [27] The concurrent termination of "Operation Jericho" deprived Israel of the French manufacturing base for its imported missiles. [28] However, because several Israeli engineers had previously been involved in the assembly process in France, Israel built its own production capability and assumed indigenous Jericho-1 assembly and testing. By 1971, A New York Times report indicated that Israel was producing Jericho-1 missiles at the rate of three to six missiles per month. [29]

The exact operational status of Jericho-1 during the 1973 war remains a mystery. While it is generally believed that Israel started to deploy its first squadron of the Jericho-1 missiles in the period between 1972 and 1973, there are doubts concerning whether that deployment rendered it truly operational. [30] For example, experts have pointed out that the Jericho-1's guidance and control systems were in that period inadequate to fit operational status. Some even argued that by the time of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel had not finalized the development of its nuclear warhead to be able to consider it operational. According to Avner Cohen, the author of Israel and the Bomb, Israel plausibly deployed its missiles in 1973 more for political (projection capability), rather than for actual military purposes. [31] Such a political deployment may have been consistent with the non-operational status of the missiles. Still, it is believed that the technical specifications of the Jericho-1 made it better-suited for carrying nuclear and chemical, rather than conventional, warheads. [32]

Meanwhile, Israel's adversaries also continued procuring increasingly advanced missile technology. Notably, Egypt began acquiring liquid-fuelled missile designs starting around 1960, and procured Frog-7 artillery rockets and Scud-B missiles from the Soviet Union in the early 1970's. [33] In 1984, Egypt also entered into a collaborative agreement with Iraq and Argentina to develop the Condor-2/Badr-2000, an intermediate range ballistic missile with a 1,000km range and a 500kg payload. [34]

1974 to 1989: New Partners and Higher Ambitions
Continual upgrades across the missile arsenal continued. Within ten years, Israel's Gabriel missiles, which had played an important role during the Yom Kippur War, received range enhancements (in 1976 Gabriel Mk2), and guidance system upgrades (in 1979 Gabriel Mk3). Israel also achieved dramatic improvements in its ballistic missile strike capabilities with the development of the medium-range Jericho-2. [35]

Formal development of the Jericho-2 or YA-2 began in 1977, and despite high levels of secrecy, reports of collaborative development efforts with other countries emerged. [36] Jericho-2's development likely began as an Israeli-Iranian joint project in 1977. According to documents taken from the Israeli and American embassies in Tehran after the revolution, Iranian military officials received briefings on the Jericho technology and viewed test launches. [37] Documents published in Iran at the time also indicated that Israel was prepared to sell Iran Jericho-1 missiles and to co-develop the Jericho-2. [38] Seth Carus, Deputy Director of the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University, notes that Iran under the Shah would have been an attractive non-Arab regional partner for Israel, but that cooperation ended following the 1979 Iranian Revolution. [39]

According to Israeli scholar Gerald Steinberg and other foreign reports, "the collapse of the Shah's government forced Israel to expand the search for alternative partners to offset the high costs of military research, development, and production." [40] Sasha Polakow-Suransky notes that, following the fall of the Shah, "Israeli-South African military cooperation deepened" as "generals in Tel Aviv now turned to South Africa for help in developing and testing its arsenal of medium and long-range ballistic missiles," and further elaborates that "the centerpiece of the joint Israeli-South African effort was modernizing the Israeli Jericho 2 missile." [41] U.S. intelligence sources and news outlets also reported that Israel provided South Africa with missile and production facilities designs, and that South Africa in exchange staged three test launches of the Jericho-2 for Israel. [42] In the late 1980s, U.S. observers noticed a distinct resemblance between the rocket plumes of South Africa's Arniston missile and the Jericho-2. [43] In fact, the two missiles share so many similarities that observers occasionally cannot tell one apart from the other. [44] Finally, in a 2000 interview, former Soviet intelligence agent Dieter Gerhardt confirmed that Israel and South Africa collaborated in "the joint development of a long-range ballistic missile." [45]

In the decade that followed, the Jericho-2 missile matured into the medium range ballistic missile that observers now consider to be the backbone of Israel's offensive missile deployments. Western intelligence services date the first Jericho-2 test to 1987, when it demonstrated an 800km range. [46] By its third test in 1989, the Jericho-2 demonstrated a range of over 1,300km. [47] Suspected Jericho-2 tests may have continued throughout the remainder of the 1980s and the 1990s, with the last test flight believed to have occurred in 2001. [48]

This same time period saw the maturation of Israel's space program, with several launches of the Shavit SLV. Israel began developing the Shavit SLV sometime during the 1980s for the purpose of boosting Ofeq reconnaissance satellites into low earth orbit. [49] The first successful launch occurred on 19 September 1988 at Palmachim Air Base. [50] By the end of the century, three Shavit launches placed two additional Ofeq satellites into orbit. [51]

U.S. government officials and intelligence analysts have long asserted design and performance similarities exist between the Jericho-2 and the Shavit SLV's rocket. In 1995, one U.S. official stated that, "the Jericho-2 is a Shavit minus the upper stage, which is replaced by a warhead." [52] In 2001, a spokesman for the IDF admitted that the "Shavit is Jericho." [53] Given the scarcity of open source information about the Jericho-2, experts have utilized the Shavit's better-known specifications to estimate the Jericho-2's capabilities. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory study speculated that a Shavit, if modified and deployed as a ballistic missile, could carry a 1,000 kg warhead 4,850 km or a 500 kg warhead 7,600 km. [54] Using similar analysis, and also assuming that the Jericho-2 performs comparably with the American Minuteman-2 missile of the 1960s, Steve Fetter proposed a 4000km range with an 800kg payload - a range that would encompass "the entire Arab world (plus most of Europe)." [55]

Jericho-2's deployment chronology – important for understanding the system's status during the 1991 Iraq War – remains unclear. Jane's estimates that the Jericho-2 entered service in 1989. [56] By contrast, Seth Carus cites an Israeli account asserting that the decision to deploy the Jericho-2 was not made until 1994 (and thus, following the Gulf War). [57] Raytheon observes that Soviet sources denoted the Jericho-2 as operational in 1989, but does not give a deployment date. [58] Furthermore, commercial satellite images of the Sdot Micha Airbase near Zachariah, the probable deployment location of all Jericho missiles, reveal a base expansion between 1989 and 1993, likely undertaken to accommodate the newly-manufactured Jericho-2 missiles. [59] Such an expansion would be more consistent with a post-1991 deployment chronology.

1989 to 2005: Advanced Tactics, Precision Strike, and Missile Defense
In the early 1980's, Rafael began development of the Popeye (Have Nap) – a cruise missile designed for precision strike against high-value ground targets such as airfields, bridges, and bunkers. [60] Production began in 1989, and the Popeye has since become a versatile platform that has been modified both for various Israeli military applications and for international customers. The Popeye-2 (Have Lite), designed with reduced weight and size and thus deployable on F-16's, did not enter service anywhere. [61] Jane's reports that Israel has exported Popeye and Popeye variant missiles to multiple countries, including the United States (AGM-142); the United Kingdom; Australia; Turkey; South Korea; and India. [62]

In the summer of 2000 French media reported that Israel's German-built Dolphin submarines had tested 1,500km cruise missiles near Sri Lanka. [63] Some speculate that Israel had tested an upgraded "Popeye Turbo," a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that Israel previously proposed to the United Kingdom (Project "Kaeson"/"Keison"), and had reportedly performed design studies for as early as 1995. [64] The National Air and Space Intelligence Center declared the Popeye Turbo operational in 2002. [65] However, as of 2012 Jane's does not list the Popeye Turbo in Israel's missile inventory. [66]

A second major development in this decade was the development of the Arrow Weapons System, a joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense system. After the first flight test of the Arrow 1 missile occurred in August 1990, full system development and integration continued throughout the decade. [67] On 17 October 2000 the Israeli Air Force declared the first Arrow battery operational. [68] Jane's and the Israel Ministry of Defence (MOD) describe nine full system tests against live targets through 2005, with seven intercepts, one failure, and one test described as "partially successful." [69] As a potential indicator of the perceived effectiveness of the Arrow system, Israeli media indicated interest from India, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey, and South Korea in purchasing Arrow missile technologies. [70] Israel now deploys Arrow-2 batteries at Palmachim and Ein Shemer. [71]

2005 to the Present: Towards Layered Offense and Defense
Israel's recent developments in both offensive and defensive missile technology reflect concern over both intermediate-range threats such as Iran and short-range threats such as Hizbullah rocket artillery. On the offensive side, Israel's development of the Jericho-3 missile, with an estimated maximum range between 4,800km and 6,500km and a 1,000 to 1,300kg payload, would provide Israel with an intermediate-range nuclear strike capability. [72] Israeli Defense Radio and other sources reported a Jericho-3 test launch in January 2008. [73] In early 2008, Israeli weapons expert and former Isaac Ben-Israel head of the Israel Administration for the Development of Weapons and the Technological Industry declared that "everybody can do the mathematics … we can reach with a rocket engine to every point in the world," thus appearing to confirm Israel's new capability. [74] Israeli Ministry of Defense officials said that the 2008 launch represented a "dramatic leap in Israel's missile capabilities." [75] Israel's public displays of the Extended Range Artillery munitions system and the Long Range Artillery (LORA) in June 2007 demonstrated continued investment in short-range systems aimed at developing advanced capabilities. [76]

On the defensive side, Israel embarked on projects designed to counter short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), cruise missiles, and rockets. While interest in such ventures previously existed, the 2006 confrontation with Lebanon profoundly impacted the IDF's threat assessments, with Uzi Rubin noting that the IDF even offered "a remarkable admission that the IDF had hithereto ignored homeland defense against ballistic threats." [77] While Israel responded by launching Delilah cruise missiles against Hizbullah assets, most consider Hizbullah's rocket campaign surprisingly effective and one-sided, causing both human and capital loss, as well as economic disruption and psychological impact. [78]

The first system approved, David's Sling, was designed to counteract SRBMs (such as Iran's Fatah 110); cruise missiles; and heavy rockets. [79] A joint venture by Rafael and Raytheon, the system received approval for development in 2006. [80] A second system, Iron Dome, was designed to destroy incoming Qassam and Katyusha rockets fired from the Gaza Strip and Southern Lebanon, respectively. [81] The Ministry of Defense approved plans for Rafael's Iron Dome in February 2007. The Israeli government allocated nearly 300 million dollars for the project and originally anticipated a project completion timeline of thirty months. [82]

The November 2012 conflict between Israel and Hamas has extensively field tested the Iron Dome system’s capabilities. As of 19 November 2012, roughly 900 rockets have been fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, and according to the New York Times the system intercepted “more than” 300 of these rockets. [83] The Iron Dome system does not attempt to intercept all rockets fired—if the rocket's trajectory appears to lead to an unpopulated or underpopulated area, then the interceptors are not launched. Roughly 80-90% of attempted intercepts have been successful, according to the Israeli Defense Forces, meaning that approximately 350 rockets have been engaged by the system. [84] If correct, these numbers suggest that most of the 900 rockets launched thusfar have not been well aimed. 

Yousaf Butt of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies notes that the Iron Dome system intercepts rockets within the atmosphere, so indications of its success should not be extrapolated to larger "midcourse" strategic missile defense systems. Unlike Iron Dome, strategic missile defense systems attempt to intercept missiles in the vacuum of space, where decoys can fool the defensive system. [85]

Recent Developments and Current Status

From an offensive perspective, while Israel does not release missile inventories Jane's estimates that Israel deploys 50 to 100 Jericho missiles at the Zachariah airbase. [86] However, IKONOS satellite images of Sdot Micha reveal only 23 to 50 missile shelters, implying that the total number of Jericho-1 and Jericho-2 missiles deployed at Zachariah cannot exceed 50. [87] Globalsecurity.org further notes that satellite images have not detected any additional missile shelters in Israel, and that Israel's geographic constraints make construction of additional and more secretive land bases difficult and field deployment highly risky. [88] These factors would imply a much smaller deployment of Jericho missiles than the estimates from Jane's. No further information about the Jericho-3 has followed the 2008 flight test and statements. [89] The recently displayed LORA and EXTRA artillery systems provide Israel with advanced capabilities such as NLOS and mid-flight maneuverability. [90]

In 2009 Jane's cited unconfirmed reports suggesting that Israel planned to deploy 200 Arrow missiles by 2010. [91] Development also continues on Arrow-3, a high-altitude missile interceptor joint-developed with the United States with a possible deployment date of 2014. [92] Artillery fire from Hizbullah in 2006 and from Hamas in 2008 and 2009 turned the capability to counter short-range threats into a priority. [93] Israel declared the Iron Dome air defense system operational on 27 March 2011, and performed a successful test intercept against a short range rocket on 7 April 2011. [94] A month later, Israel MOD Director Reserve Maj. Gen. Udi Shani stated that he expected the Magic Wand (or David's Sling) system, designed to counter slightly longer range rockets than the Iron Dome, to become operational by 2012. [95]

While several historical adversaries such as Iraq and Libya no longer actively target Israeli security, Israel perceives a continued threat from diverse potential adversaries. Arrow, Iron Dome, and Magic Wand represent Israel's current multi-layered missile defense approach. [96] Continued investment in advanced capabilities in both intermediate-range and short-range offensive missiles also reflects the diversity of Israel's perceived potential threat environment. Israel will continue to face a multi-faceted and complex security environment for the foreseeable future and, barring dramatic changes in its security calculus, is likely to continue to develop advanced missile technology in collaboration with foreign partners.

Sources:
[1] Götz Neuneck, "Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Near and Middle East After the Iraq War 2003," Presentation at the Conference Iraq-Regional Implications, External Relations Department of the European Commission (DG Relex), Brussels, 21 June 2003; Duncan Lennox, ed, "Ballistic Missile Capabilities, Manufacturing Countries," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 48, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2008), p. 533; Duncan Lennox, ed., "Offensive Weapons Table," Jane's Strategic Weapon System, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 527-532; and Duncan Lennox, ed., "Defensive Weapons Table," Jane's Strategic Weapon System, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 535-537.
[2] Duncan Lennox, ed, "Ballistic Missile Capabilities, Manufacturing Countries," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 48, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2008), p. 533; and Duncan Lennox, ed., "Offensive Weapons Table," Jane's Strategic Weapon System, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 527-532.
[3] For information about the speculated design similarities and possible co-development of Israel's ballistic missile and satellite launchers, see: W. Seth Carus, "Israeli Ballistic Missile Developments," in Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, Report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, 15 July 1998; and Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86.
[4] Gerald Steinberg, "Israel: Case Study for International Missile Trade and Nonproliferation," pp. 235-253, in William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994). Jane's reports that India, Australia, Turkey, South Korea, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, and Thailand. In addition, the United States, South Africa, and Turkey have manufactured Israeli-designed missiles under licensing and second-source production contracts. Finally, Israel has also proposed missile sales to the United Kingdom and has been accused of selling missile technology to China. See: Yitzhak Shichor, "Israel's Military Transfers to China and Taiwan," Survival, vol. 40, no. 1, Spring 1998, pp. 68-91.
[5] Jeremy M. Sharp, "U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel," CRS Report for Congress, RL33222, 16 September 2010; and Duncan Lennox, ed., "AGM-142 Popeye 1/2 (Have Nap/Have Lite/Raptor/Crystal Maze) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 78-80.
[6] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Offensive Weapons Table," Jane's Strategic Weapon System, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 527-532; and Duncan Lennox, ed., "Defensive Weapons Table," Jane's Strategic Weapon System, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 535-537.
[7] The U.S. Congressional Research Service reports that total military grants to Israel in FY2010 totaled $2.775B. See: Jeremy M. Sharp, "U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel," CRS Report for Congress, RL33222, 16 September 2010. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency reports an overall Future Years Defense Program budget request of $581M for Israeli Cooperative programs, including $122M for FY2011. See: Missile Defense Agency, "Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Budget Estimates Overview (Washington, DC: United States Department of Defense, 15 January 2010).
[8] For information about historical collaborations with Iran and South Africa, see: Gerald Steinberg, "Israel: Case Study for International Missile Trade and Nonproliferation," pp. 235-253, in William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994).
[9] U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, "Fact Sheet: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)," 4 March 2009, available at www.state.gov, accessed 19 October 2011.
[10] Brent C Mitchell, "Giving arms exporters a helping hand," Jerusalem Post 23 April 1992; and Gerald Steinberg, "Israel: Case Study for International Missile Trade and Nonproliferation," pp. 235-253, in William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994).
[11] Mohamed Kadry Said, "Missile proliferation in the Middle East: a regional perspective," Disarmament Forum, Issue 2001, No, 2, 2001, pp. 49-61.
[12] Duncan Lennox, ed, "Ballistic Missile Capabilities, Manufacturing Countries," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 48, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2008), p. 533.
[13] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Arrow 2 (Israel), Defensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 253-256; Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86; and "Jericho 2," Missilethreat.com, www.missilethreat.com, accessed 12 May 2011.
[14] Harold Hough, "Could Israel's Nuclear Assets Survive a First Strike?" Jane's Intelligence Review, 1 September 1997, www.janes.com; Harold Hough, "Israel's Nuclear Infrastructure," Jane's Intelligence Review, 1 November 1994, www.janes.com; "Israel Aims To Improve Missile Accuracy," Risk Report 1, vol. 5 (June 1995): p. 9.
[15] Duncan Lennox, ed, "Offensive Weapons Tables," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 48, (Surrey: Jane's --Information Group, January 2008), pp. 527-532.
[16] Duncan Lennox, ed, "Defensive Weapons Tables" Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 48, (Surrey: Jane's --Information Group, January 2008), pp. 535-537. For a map estimating the strike range in geographic terms, see: STRATFOR Global Intelligence, "A New Ballistic Missile for Israel?" www.stratfor.com, 17 January 2008, accessed 13 May 2011.
[17] Gerald Steinberg, "Israel: Case Study for International Missile Trade and Nonproliferation," pp. 235-253, in William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994).
[18] W. Seth Carus, "Israeli Ballistic Missile Developments," in Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, Report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, 15 July 1998.
[19] Michael Collins Dunn, "Israel's Booster Rocket Comes Out of the Basement," Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, November 1988, p. 7.
[20] Tal Inbar, "Reaching for the stars? 50th anniversary of Israel's ‘Shavit 2' rocket," Presentation for the 62nd International Astronautical Congress, Cape Town, 3 October 2011.
[21] Gerald Steinberg, "Israel: Case Study for International Missile Trade and Nonproliferation," pp. 235-253, in William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994).
[22] Gerald Steinberg, "Israel: Case Study for International Missile Trade and Nonproliferation," pp. 235-253, in William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994).
[23] Norbert Brügge, "The missile development program in the UAR Egypt (episode 1960-1967) -- based on German WW-II technology --," www.b14643.de/Spacerockets_1/Diverse/Al-Kaher/index.htm, updated 28 May 2011, accessed 21 February 2012.
[24] Avner Cohen, The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain with the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), p. 288; and Pierre Langereux, "Dassault lève le voile sur ne missile Jericho [Dassault Lifts the Lid on the Jericho Missile Story]," Air et Cosmos / Aviation International, 6 December 1996, p. 36; and "MD 620 Jericho," Dassault Aviation, www.dassault-aviation.com, accessed 29 April 2011.
[25] Mark Wade, "Launch Sites: Ile du Levant," Encyclopedia Astronautica, www.astronautix.com. More complete technical information on the MD-620 and its test program can be found at "MD 620," http://fuseurop.univ-perp.fr/md620_e.htm, accessed 19 October 2011.
[26] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86.
[27] In 1967, Israeli tank and infantry forces mobilized along the borders with Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, with President Nasser of Egypt threatening "a war of annihilation." While Israel's pre-emptive strikes removed the immediate threat, Israel's actions caused a deterioration of French-Israeli relations. In June 1968, President de Gaulle imposed a partial arms embargo and dissolved the cooperative missile agreement. See: Mohamed Kadry Said, "Missile proliferation in the Middle East: a regional perspective," Disarmament Forum, Issue 2001, No, 2, 2001, pp. 49-61. In December 1968, an Israeli commando raid on Beirut's airport resulted in the destruction of Air France assets, and France responded by suspending all arms deliveries to Israel. See: "France-Israel: from De Gaulle's arms embargo to Sarkozy's election," EJP Press (Paris), 20 June 2008, www.ejppress.org, accessed 29 April 2011.
[28] "Relations between Israel and France: a timeline," Agence France-Presse, 20 June 2008, ww.afp.com; "French – Israeli Relations," The Israel Project, www.theisraelproject.org; "Israel Aircraft Industries Nesher," American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org.
[29] William Beecher, "Israel Believed Producing Missiles of Atom Capability," The New York Times, 5 October 1971, pp. 1, 15.
[30] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86; W. Seth Carus, "Israeli Ballistic Missile Developments," in Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, Report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, 15 July 1998; and William Cook, Jr., Third World Ballistic Missile Proliferation and the Challenge to the Operational Commander, (Newport, R.I.: Naval War College, 1993).
[31] A knowledgeable source interviewed by CNS reports that the Jericho-1 was not operational at the time of the 1973 war.
[32] Alan Dowty, "Israel and Nuclear Weapons," Midstream Vol 22 no. 7 (November 1976), pp. 8-9.
[33] Mohamed Kadry Said, "Missile proliferation in the Middle East: a regional perspective," Disarmament Forum, Issue 2001, No, 2, 2001, pp. 49-61.
[34] Joseph Cirincione, Jon B. Wolfsthal and Miriam Rajkumar, Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction (Washington, DC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2002), p. 341. Egypt withdrew from the Condor-2 project in 1989 and funding issues caused Argentina to cancel the Condor-2 in 1990.
[35] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86.
[36] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86.
[37] Elaine Sciolino, "Documents Detail Israeli Missile Deal With the Shah," The New York Times, 1 April 1986, p. A17; W. Seth Carus, "Israeli Ballistic Missile Developments," in Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, Report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, 15 July 1998; and Gerald Steinberg, "Israel: Case Study for International Missile Trade and Nonproliferation," pp. 235-253, in William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994).
[38] Ronen Bergman, "Treasons of Conscience," Ha'aretz, 7 April 2000.
[39] Seth W. Carus, "Israeli Ballistic Missile Developments," Testimony Before the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, 15 July 1998, www.fas.org.
[40] Gerald Steinberg, "Israel: Case Study for International Missile Trade and Nonproliferation," pp. 235-253, in William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994); Ronen Bergman, "Treasons of Conscience," Ha'aretz, 7 April 2000.
[41] Sasha Polakow-Suransky, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa (New York, NY: Pantheon, 2010), pp. 132-153.
[42] In total, analysts generally estimate that Israel provided substantial technical assistance to South Africa's Arniston missile program, including factory construction. William Burrows and Robert Windrem, Critical Mass (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1994), pp. 448-455; and David B. Ottaway and R. Jeffrey Smith, "U.S. Knew of Israel-S. Africa Missile Deal," The Washington Post, 27 October 1989, www.washingtonpost.com.
[43] Gerald Steinberg, "Israel: Case Study for International Missile Trade and Nonproliferation," pp. 235-253, in William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, The International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994); and Michael R. Gordon, "U.S. Sees Israeli Help in Pretoria's Missile Work," The New York Times, 27 October 1989, p. A1.
[44] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86; and "Daniel," Encyclopedia Astronautica, www.astronautix.com, accessed 10 May 2011.
[45] Ronen Bergman, "Treasons of Conscience," Ha'aretz,, 7 April 2000.
[46] Seth W. Carus, "Israeli Ballistic Missile Developments," Testimony Before the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, 15 July 1998, www.fas.org.
[47] "Israel: How Far Can Its Missiles Fly?" The Risk Report 1, no.5 (June 1995): pp. 1-5.
[48] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86.
[49] "Shavit/LeoLink," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, 24 March 2010, www.janes.com.
[50] "Notifications from Israel (Launch Year 1976-present)," United Nations Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, www.unoosa.org.
[51] Mark Wade, "Launch Vehicles: Shavit," Encyclopedia Astronautica, www.astronautix.com.
[52] "Israel: How Far Can Its Missiles Fly?" The Risk Report 1, no. 5 (June 1995): pp. 1-5.
[53] Anthony H. Cordesman, Israel and Syria: The Military Balance and Prospects of War (Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2008), p. 142.
[54] Leonard S. Spector, Nuclear Ambitions (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1990), p. 163.
[55] Steve Fetter, "Israeli Ballistic Missile Capabilities," Physics and Society, Vol. 19, n. 3, pp. 3-4 (July 1990).
[56] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86.
[57] Seth W. Carus, "Israeli Ballistic Missile Developments," Testimony before the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, 15 July 1998, www.fas.org.
[58] Raytheon Systems Company, Missile Systems of the World, (Bremerton, WA: AMI International, 1999), p. 459.
[59] Joseph Cirincione, Jon B. Wolfsthal and Miriam Rajkumar, Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction (Washington, DC, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2002), p. 230. Identifying the specific deployment date of the Jericho-2 arsenal at Sdot Micha would provide knowledge about the operational status of the Jericho-2 during the 1991 Iraq War. Probable test flights from Israel and South Africa around 1989 would indicate that the R&D phase of the Jericho-2 project was nearing completion at that date. However, scale-up and transition from the R&D phase to the manufacturing phase would likely have required several years, as would necessary expansion or modifications to the Sdot Micha airbase. Commercial satellite images showing expansion of the base would be consistent with a deployment date roughly 4 to 5 years after the initial test flights, thus implying that the Jericho-2 was not yet deployed during the 1991 Iraq War.
[60] Duncan Lennox, ed., "AGM-142 Popeye 1/2 (Have Nap/Have Lite/Raptor/Crystal Maze) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 78-80.
[61] Duncan Lennox, ed., "AGM-142 Popeye 1/2 (Have Nap/Have Lite/Raptor/Crystal Maze) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 78-80.
[62] Duncan Lennox, ed., "AGM-142 Popeye 1/2 (Have Nap/Have Lite/Raptor/Crystal Maze) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 78-80.
[63] "Sri Lanka Denies Israel Cruise Missile Tests," Agence France-Presse, 26 June 2000, www.afp.com.
[64] "Weapons of Mass Destruction: Popeye Turbo," Globalsecurity.org, accessed 12 May 2011, www.globalsecurity.org; and "Popeye Turbo – Israel Special Weapons," WMD Around the World, www.fas.org, accessed 12 May 2011.
[65] National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat, (Wright-Patterson AFB, OH: NASIC, 2009), p. 29.
[66] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Weapon inventories-Offensive/defensive weapons tables, Israel," Jane's Strategic Weapons Systems, 9 March 2012, retrieved from www.janes.com.
[67] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Arrow 2 (Israel), Defensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 253-256.
[68] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Arrow 2 (Israel), Defensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 253-256.
[69] "ARROW Weapon System: Milestones: Story of the Arrow Weapon System," Israel Missile Defense Organization, www.mod.gov.il, accessed 12 May 2011; and Duncan Lennox, ed., "Arrow 2 (Israel), Defensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 253-256. Two tests were hosted by the United States at Point Mugu Sea Range in California due to Israeli geographic constraints.
[70] P.R. Kumaraswamy, "Strategic Partnership Between Israel and India," Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 2 No. 2 (May 1998).
[71] "Arrow Weapon System," Jane's Land-Based Air Defence, 11 November 2009, www.janes.com.
[72] "Jericho 3," Missilethreat.com, www.missilethreat.com, accessed 12 May 2011; and Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86.
[73] "Israel Tests a New Propulsion for 4,000 km Jericho III Missile," Defense Update, 17 January 2008, www.defense-update.com.
[74] Yuval Azoulay, "Missile test 'will improve deterrence'," Haaretz, 18 January 2008, www.haaretz.com.
[75] Doug Richardson, "Israel launches two-stage ballistic missile," Jane's Missiles and Rockets, 4 February 2008, www.janes.com.
[76] Duncan Lennox, ed., "LORA (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), p. 86; and Israel Aerospace Industries, "EXTRA – New Horizons for Precision Strike Artillery," IAI Media Room News Archives, 13 June 2005, www.iai.co.il, accessed 12 May 2011.
[77] Uzi Rubin, "Hizbullah's Rocket Campaign Against Northern Israel: A Preliminary Report," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 31 August 2006, vol. 6, no. 10.
[78] Uzi Rubin, "Hizbullah's Rocket Campaign Against Northern Israel: A Preliminary Report," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 31 August 2006, vol. 6, no. 10.
[79] Yaakov Katz, "Mr. Interception," Jerusalem Post, 2 April 2007, www.jpost.com.
[80] Yaakov Katz, "Needed ASAP: A shield against rockets," Jerusalem Post, 13 October 2006, www.jpost.com.
[81] Yaakov Katz, "DM okays Rafael anti-Kassam system. Now Prime Minister's approval needed to seal $300 million dollar deal," Jerusalem Post, 2 February 2007, wwwjpost.com.
[82] Herb Keinon and Yaakov Katz, "Funds allocated for Sderot missile defense system. But system will only be ready in 2010," Jerusalem Post, 24 December 2007, www.jpost.com.
[83] “Israel using 'Iron Dome' to intercept rockets,” MSNBC News Nation with Tamron Hall, 19 November 2012, http://video.msnbc.msn.com; Isabel Kershner, “Israeli Iron Dome Stops a Rocket with a Rocket,” The New York Times, 18 November 2012, www.nytimes.com.
[84] “A look at Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense,” The Associated Press, 17 November 2012, http://news.yahoo.com.                                 
[85] Yousaf Butt, “Rockets’ Red Glare,” 19 November 2012, Foreign Policy, www.foreignpolicy.com.
[86] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Jericho 1/2/3 (YA-1/YA-3) (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 84-86.
[87] "Zachariah – Israel – Special Weapons Facilities," Globalsecurity.org, www.globalsecurity.org, accessed 19 May 2011.
[88] "Zachariah – Israel – Special Weapons Facilities," Globalsecurity.org, www.globalsecurity.org, accessed 19 May 2011.
[89] On the Jericho III/Jericho-3, see "A must read about Israel's military machine," Jerusalem Post, 9 August 1996; Encyclopedia Astronautica, "Jericho 2," www.astronautix.com.
[90] Duncan Lennox, ed., "LORA (Israel), Offensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), p. 86; and Israel Aerospace Industries, "EXTRA – New Horizons for Precision Strike Artillery," IAI Media Room News Archives, 13 June 2005, www.iai.co.il, accessed 12 May 2011.
[91] Duncan Lennox, ed., "Arrow 2 (Israel), Defensive Weapons," Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, Issue 50, (Surrey: Jane's Information Group, January 2009), pp. 253-256.
[92] Jeremy M. Sharp, "U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel," CRS Report for Congress, RL33222, 16 September 2010.
[93] Yaakov Katz, "Needed ASAP: A shield against rockets," Jerusalem Post, 13 October 2006, www.jpost.com.
[94] Isabel Kershner, "Israel Rolls Out First Mobile Battery of Antirocket System," The New York Times, 27 March 2011, www.nytimes.com, accessed 12 May 2011; and Anshel Pfeffer and Yanir Yagna, "Iron Dome successfully intercepts Gaza rocket for first time," Haaretz, 7 April 2011, www.haaretz.com, accessed 12 May 2011.
[95] Amos Harel, "Israel to invest $1 billion in Iron Dome missile defense system," Haaretz, 9 May 2011, www.haaretz.com, accessed 12 May 2011.
[96] Jeremy M. Sharp, "U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel," CRS Report for Congress, RL33222, 16 September 2010.                                                 

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.

Get the Facts on Israel

  • Widely believed to have produced enough weapons-grade plutonium for 100 to 200 nuclear warheads
  • Developing a comprehensive multi-layered missile defense system
  • Not a state party to the NPT, CTBT, BTWC, CWC or MTCR