Artillery: Identifying All of the Hizbollah Rockets
August 18, 2006: With cease fire in place, more information has come out about the nature of Hizbollahs rocket arsenal. Most of the rockets Hizbollah had, perhaps 80 percent or more, were a World War II Russian design. This 122mm rocket had a range of 20 kilometers and a 13 pound warhead. There were also a number of longer range 122mm rockets, in this case 30 kilometers. Apparently, this model had the same 13 pound warhead, and achieved its increased range by being longer and heavier (standard 122mm rockets are nine feet long and weigh 150 pounds).
The rockets fired deeper into Israel included a 220mm Syrian model, with a range of 65 kilometers and a 90 pound warhead. Hizbollah modified the warhead to contain less explosives, and thousands of small steel balls. These peppered the area near where the warhead went off. There were also several larger 240mm rockets, with a range of ten kilometers and a 40 pound warhead.
These rockets were available from a number of manufacturers, including Syria. An Egyptian firm makes a number of longer range 122mm models and sells them on the world market. Israel probably has a good idea of who the manufacturers were, but has not released that data yet.
There were nearly a thousand, longer ranged, Iranian rockets under Hizbollah control. These include the 240mm Iranian Fadjr 3, with a range of 40 kilometers and a 110 pound warhead. The 333mm Iranian Fadjr 5 has a range of 100 kilometers and a 200 pound warhead. The 302mm Iranian Khaibar-1 has a range of 150 kilometers and a 220 pound warhead. The 610mm Iranian ZelZal-2 has a range of 200 kilometers and a 880 pound warhead. None of the ZelZal's were used, and Israeli aircraft appeared to have destroyed one that was caught on the road. The ZelZal is moved, and launched, on a specially designed heavy truck. The Iranians apparently told Hizbollah not to use any of the longer range Iranian rockets, apparently for fear of retaliation from Israel.