‘Iran is placing guided warheads on Hezbollah rockets’

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‘Iran is placing guided warheads on Hezbollah rockets’
By YAAKOV LAPPIN/J.Post/03/31/2015

Iran is placing guided warheads on its rockets and smuggling them to Hezbollah in Lebanon, a senior Defense Ministry official involved in preparing Israeli air defenses said Tuesday. Speaking at the Israel Air and Missile Defense Conference in Herzliya, organized by the iHLS defense website and the Israel Missile Defense Association, Col. Aviram Hasson said Iran is converting Zilzal unguided rockets into accurate, guided M-600 projectiles by upgrading their warheads.

Hasson, who is in charge of upper tier missile defenses in the Defense Ministry’s HOMA, which is a part of the Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, described Iran as a “train engine that is not stopping for a moment. It is manufacturing new and advanced ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. It is turning unguided rockets that had an accuracy range of kilometers into weapons that are accurate to within meters.”

Hezbollah, he continued, “is getting a lot of accurate weapons from Iran. It is in a very different place compared to the Second Lebanon War in 2006.”For Israel, the “ultimate defense is a combination of counter-attack, active defenses, and passive defense [civilian compliance with Home Front Command safety instructions],” Hasson argued.

Riki Ellison, founder and chairman of the US Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, also spoke to the conference. The Alliance is a non-profit organization advocating for the deployment and development of missile defenses. Ellison said the US always keeps at least one war ship in the Mediterranean with an Aegis naval missile defense system to ensure that Israel is protected against long-range Iranian ballistic missiles. “It can stand off the coast and shoot long-shots coming in from Iran,” Ellison said.

The US is keen to see Israel complete its multi-layered blanket of missile defenses, which would enable it to defend against Iranian missiles without the Aegis, freeing up the US Navy’s ships to be deployed elsewhere, he added. Ellison told the delegates that the US remains firmly committed to Israel’s security irrespective of recent disagreements between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He added that the US could deploy its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries “if necessary to come into Israel to support your country’s defense.”The US is “fully supportive of Israel getting full capable system Arrow 3 and David’s Sling defense systems,” Ellison said.