Artillery: A Boxful Of Hurt


September 16, 2009: Israel has developed an artillery system similar to the new (and more widely publicized) U.S. "NetFires" system. The Israeli "Jumper" puts eight missiles, and a control unit in a nine (3x3) cell box measuring 1.4x1.4x2 meters tall (4.3x4.3x6.2 feet) cargo type container. Each 129 pound (63 kg), 150mm guided missile is nearly six feet (1.8m) long and has a range of 50 kilometers. The missile uses GPS and laser seeker for guidance.

The U.S. Army NetFires (or NLOS-LS) is actually two different missiles, identical in weight and size, but different in how they operate. The main one is PAM (Precision Attack Missile). This is a 178mm diameter missile that weighs 120 pounds, and has a range of 40 kilometers. PAM attacks from above, with a 28 pound warhead. This enables it to kill any tank by hitting the thinner top armor. This warhead would also sink a small boat, especially one carrying a suicide bomber. PAM uses a GPS, imaging infrared (seeks a particular shape down there) or laser seeker.

PAMs are vertically-launched, from  a 4x6x4 foot (wide x deep x high) 1.5 ton cargo container. The missiles are shipped from the factory in this sealed container. Each container holds 15 missiles and can be carried on the back of a truck, or a ship.

Both systems allow for the container to be just moved to a suitable launching area, where the missiles can be launched remotely, as needed. The NetFires will be available in two years, while Jumper is available now. This stuff is not cheap, with each missile costing over $50,000.


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