Saturday, March 01, 2008
Ashkelon Bombarded by Grad Rockets
We knew about Kassam home-made rockets, now we hear in the media about Grad rockets. The Grad are a Russian weapon developed in the sixties that has been widely copied all over the world and now it can be found mounted on any type of small transport vehicle, providing mobility and firepower. I dont know what kind of Grad the Hamas has, or if it is an improvised local version of Kassam launcher.
The Soviet-designed Grad-type Katyusha land deep inside Israel, about 10 km from Gaza in Ashkelon, much deeper than the usual 2 miles traveled by the crude makeshift rockets (Qassam). During the 2006 Lebanon War, Hezbollah fired almost 4,000 rockets into Israel, mostly 122 mm (4.8 in) Katyusha artillery rockets. They have a range of up to 19 miles. Katyushas were exported by Russians to Afghanistan, Angola, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, East Germany, Hungary, Iran, North Korea, Poland, Syria, and Vietnam, and they were also produced in Czechoslovakia, North Korea and Iran.
The Iranians produce rocket launchers that can fire the original Soviet rockets as well as the locally developed "Arash" with a range of 20.5 km. There is also a rocket with a range of 26 km. Dr Khan Research Laboratories from Pakistan have developed a rocket launcher that is very similar to the North-Korean BM-11. The KRL 122 was originally based on an Isuzu truck but later models use the Reo M35 truck. The Romanian variant of the Grad is a 6-rocket launcher. APR-21 (aruncator de proiectile reactive - rocket launcher): Romanian 21-round launcher (3 rows of 7) mounted on a Bucegi SR-114 four-by-four chassis. No longer used by the Romanian Army but some vehicles have been exported to Nigeria. Morocco has the launch pack mounted on a Kaiser M35 truck. The APR-40: Initially this designator was used for the original BM-21 "Grad" in Romanian service, but Aerostar SA has developed an improved model, based on a DAC-665T six-by-six truck. A slightly improved model, called APRA-40 or 40 APRA 122 FMC is based on the DAC 15.215 DFAEG truck. Each launcher is normally accompanied by a re-supply truck MITC with a 6t crane and a trailer RM13. The system is also used by Botswana, Bosnia, Cameroon, Croatia, Iran, Iraq, Liberia and Nigeria.
The Hamas is using Hizballah strategies, with the idea of arriving to some kind of balance of terror with Israel, such as in the Northern border. The war against the Hizballah barely depressed TASE, and it was followed by lasting quiet. The main thing worrying Minister Barak and Prime Minister Olmert must be the unevitable parlamentary enquiry if the start a "war" against Hamas.