Jane's Defence Weekly says Israel has developed its first cruise missile

08:41 AM EDT Jun 10

The Canadian Press

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel has developed its first surface-to-surface cruise missile with a range of at least 300 kilometres, 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 immediate neighbours. Iran, however, would be out of range. The weapon fulfils 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 design range of 250 kilometres, IMI said, but defence officials told Jane's that the missile could reach "well beyond 300 kilometres"

The advanced missile includes a high explosive, 30-kilogram warhead and is guided by a global positioning system. The missile 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 some 15 kilometres, Jane's added.

Israel developed the new technology after a decade of trying to obtain surface-to-surface cruise missiles. The United States has twice denied Israeli requests to purchase 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 1,450 kilometres, can carry a payload of 1,000 kilograms and is suitable for nuclear weapons.

© The Canadian Press, 2004