This latest conflict in Israel has highlighted an interesting weapon.  Enter the 122 mm Grad Missile, or the 9K132 Grad-P rocket.  Why is this different from the Kassam rockets and other homemade stuff?  The range and lethality.  It can go 20 plus kilometers and it is a factory made rocket.  That means more Israeli deaths, and someone outside of the country is getting these things in.  It could be Hezbollah, Syria, Iran (their Arash rocket-see article below), Egypt, Russia… Who knows? But they have them, and they are using them.  The most recent attacks were Grad rockets, and these longer range rockets were probably the tipping point(as well as just launching a massive amount of homemade missiles) for the recent activity.  Just check out how many attacks have increased over the years.-Matt 

Edit: According to news sources, these are Chinese made Grad rockets. 

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9K132 “Grad-P”(Wikipedia)

Single-round man-portable launcher, which can be reloaded and used again. The rocket itself is a 122mm fin-stabilized rocket, armed with any of the warheads used on BM-21 rockets. The weapon is not often used by the Russian military, but is popular with paramilitary and guerrilla force.

Egypt(Wikipedia)

The Egyptians domestically manufacture the rockets “Sakr-36” and “Sakr-18” with a respective range of 36 and 18 km. Rather than a standard HE-Frag round, the Egyptian military prefers a 23 kilogram cluster munition, which can be extremely effective against lightly armored equipment and troop concentrations. Both rockets, as well as the original Soviet models of course, are fired by locally manufactured rocket launchers like the RL-21 (copy of BM-11) and RC-21 (copy of BM-21, similar to the Hadid HM20). The Helwan Machine Tools Company also produces portable systems with one, three, four and eight launch tubes.

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The discovery of BM-21 components indicates that the Palestinians can now buy, or build, more accurate, and longer ranged, rockets. The 150 pound, 122mm Russian designed BM-21 rocket is nine feet long and has a range of 20 kilometers and a 45 pound warhead. Developed in the late 1930s, the 122mm rocket is normally fired in large numbers from many launchers at spread-out targets.That’s because the rockets are unguided. Aim lots of them at a target and you’ll hit something. Aim a few of them at something, and you usually won’t, But the rockets are made by many countries, are relatively easy to get, and favored by terrorists for attacks that terrorize, rather than actually do any damage.

Well that’s a matter of conjecture that ” rather than actually do any damage.” If you believe that shit you haven’t been pounded by them.

An Egyptian company manufactures the BM-21, including a longer range version of the 122mm rocket. This one has a range of 45 kilometers. The additional range is achieved by reducing the size of the warhead. Another terrorist favorite is the is the 42 pound, 107mm, 33 inch long, Russian BM-12. This rocket has a range of about six kilometers and three pounds of explosives in its warhead. Normally fired, from a launcher, in salvoes of dozens at a time, when used individually, they can only be aimed at a large target, like a large village, or small town, with any expectation of hitting anything.

Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian terrorist group that is firing the rockets, says the BM-21s are Russian made, and of the 30 kilometer range variety.

Link Here

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9K132 Grad-P missile. Has a range of about 25 kilometers, payload of about 30 kilograms and the accuracy of /- a few kilometers. Pretty useless against modern military formations, but can kill a whole lot of random civilians if fired at, say, Tiberias. Or any of the kibbutzim, moshavim, villages and small towns around the Kinneret.

The timer-operated 9K132 Grad-P can be easily hidden in a loft, a garden, or just some bushes. It can be set to fire an hour or a month after it has been activated. The Syrian military has been stocking up on these lately (Russians were happy to provide them, even canceling Syria’s tremendous debt to do so. Iran has their own variant, basically a mountless Arash missile with a modified launching mechanism) and training their slave-soldiers to operate these.

From the comments section of the Good Neighbor’s Blog

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Global Security’s Description of the Rocket

 

Wikipedia’s Description of the Rocket

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Last updated: 20/07/02

Authors: Kirill, Oleg Granovsky

Translated by Noam Primak

Weapons Found on ‘Karine-A’ and ‘Santorini’

    * ‘Santorini’

    * ‘Karine A’

    * Armaments, Type and Quantity

          o Rockets

          o RPGs

          o Small Arms

          o Mortars

          o Mines

          o Explosives

Notre: The article was originally written shortly after the capture of the ship Karin-A, however it is still very relevant, since it provides considerable information about the weapons the Palestinian terrorists could have accumulated in the Gaza strip.

On 6 May 2001 an IAF aircraft on routine patrol over the Mediterranean, spotted a suspicious vessel, named ‘Santorini’. Two ‘Dabur’ patrol craft were sent to intercept the small (length 25 m, displacement 40 tonnes) ship, followed by two missile boats.

The missile boats intercepted the vessel in international waters, some tens of miles from the Israeli coast. Their crews noticed on the ‘Santorini’s deck a large number of plastic barrels of different sizes. A marine commando contingent of the IDF Navy’s Flotilla-13 (‘Shayetet-13’, Israel’s naval special forces unit) proceeded to board the vessel. The four crewmen aboard the ‘Santorini’ did not attempt to resist the takeover. Upon inspection, the boarding party found the barrels filled with weaponry. The vessel was escorted to port at Haifa.

The investigation that followed revealed that the shipment had been purchased by Ahmed Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC). Its value, including the price of the contraband delivery, was estimated at $10 million. The smugglers, who departed with the cargo from Tripoli, Lybia, were tasked with unloading the barrels-carefully sealed and waterproofed along with their contents-at a prearranged location off the Gaza coast, where they would be picked up by Palestinian Authority (PA) representatives.

The next day, 7 May 01, at 8:00 pm local time, a press conference was held on the matter in Haifa, with the participation of the Minister of Defense, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and commander-in-chief of the IDF Navy, Maj-Gen.Yedidia Yaari. The latter denied any knowledge of recent attempts at smuggling contraband by sea. By the next day, however, the interrogation of the suspects revealed that they had made three such attempts in the past, two of which were successful.

Eight months later, on the morning of 2 Jan 02 a squadron of ‘Dvora’ patrol craft (and possibly ‘Dabur’ boats) and fast attack boats of Flotilla-13 departed Eilat. This time the operation-code-named ‘Noah’s Ark’-was planned well in advance. The task was the takeover of the weapons-laden ‘Karine A’. The actual interception was preceded by months of intelligence activity, code-named Operation Milk and Honey (‘khalav u-dvash’).

The patrol vessels are too small to carry the commando boats on board, so the latter traveled the entire distance covered in the operation on their own power, refueling several times from the patrol craft. The takeover of the ‘Karine-A’, which Flotilla-13 personnel executed in 8 minutes without firing a shot, occurred on the night of 3-4 Jan in international waters on the Red Sea, between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, about 500 km from Eilat. Part of the contingent was fast-roped onto the vessel from helicopters, while the rest boarded from the speedboats. The takeover and escort of the ‘Karine-A’ back to Eilat was supported by IAF attack helicopters. The operation was 0commanded from an aerial platform by Brig-Gen (‘tat-aluf’) Eli Merom, chief of naval operations (‘mispen yam’), with IDF chief-of-staff Lt-Gen (‘rav-aluf’) Shaul Mofaz also on board. ‘Karine-A’ arrived in Eilat the evening of 4 Jan 02, the entire operation completed in less than 60 hours.

The same day, at 14:00, the IDF held a press conference (Shaul Mofaz, Yedidia Yaari, IAF commander-in-chief Maj-Gen (Aluf) Dan Halutz, and IDF spokesman Brig-Gen (Tat-Aluf) Ron Kitrey participating) making public the Karine-A’s takeover. The first photos (taken while the ship was still at sea) of the deadly cargo were released. Two days later, on 6 Jan 02 at 17:00, another press conference, this time with the Prime Minister and Defence Minister attending, was held at Eilat naval base. The captured armaments were made available for the inspection of foreign military attaches, diplomatic officials and reporters.

This time the “catch” was more substantial: over 50 tonnes (up to 70-80 T) of arms and ammunition. It was to have been delivered by ‘Karine-A’ (length 97.4m, disp.4000 T, constructed 1979) through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean off the Egyptian port of Alexandria, where it would be picked up and reloaded onto smaller craft. These were to deliver the payload, packed in 80 (83 according to certain sources) watertight containers, to the Gaza coast. A typical fishing vessel is capable of towing several such containers, with the added advantage that the containers in the rear would remain underwater. If the fishing boat were spotted by an Israeli patrol, the containers could be released and relocated later (with floating markers). The weaponry was hidden under a layer of civilian cargo (clothing, mattresses, suitcases, electronics, etc.)

The captain of the Karine-A was Omar Ashawi, a FATAH activist since 1976, Lt-Col in the PA’s “Naval Police”, and its adviser on maritime affairs. Several other members of the Karine-A’s crew were “Naval Police” officers; the rest were Egyptian sailors, who may or may not have not known of the contraband aboard. Ashawi’s interrogation revealed that the vessel had been purchased by Adal Mugrabi, a representative of the PA. According to Ashawi, the deputy commander of the “Naval Police”, Fatkhi Gazem, and the PA’s finance Fuad Shubaki, also participated in the operation, the latter charged with making payment for the cargo. The ship’s last run took it from the Jordanian port of Aqaba (neighboring Eilat) on 24 Sep 01, to an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf, where its cargo was loaded.

Further investigation revealed that the arms were purchased through Iran’s so-called “Export Committee of the Islamic Revolution” for $15 million. Payment was delivered via Lebanon through Hizballah middlemen. The civilian cargo used to smuggle the contraband was worth about $3 million, the ship itself about $400,000.

It has been reported that the IDF will make use of part of the confiscated materials (including sniper weapons and explosives) and destroy the rest. The vessel may be used by the IDF Navy for training purposes (but its mechanical condition was deemed questionable).

Armaments and Ammunition : 

‘Santorini’

Additional notes on Karine-A cargo:

    * The shipment was so large that various items, such as RPG-7 rocket motors and AK magazines were not counted.

    * A large part of the weaponry (mortars, anti-tank rockets, RPG-7 and motors) is of Iranian manufacture

    * In addition to the Zodiac boats, a substantial quantity of diving equipment was present (diving suits, aqualungs, underwater illuminators).

    * All mortar rounds and unguided rockets have impact fuse*

    * All mortars and unguided rocket launchers were complete with aiming sights.

    * In addition to the fuses in the mines, grenades, and rockets, the cargo included a large quantity of electric and mechanical fuse mechanisms of various types.

Rockets:

“Arash”. Analog to BM-21 ‘Grad’, Iranian manufacture.

Caliber: 122mm

Range: 20.75 km

Weight of rocket: 66.4kg

Warhead (WH): 19.18kg, high-explosive (HE)/fragmentation. Includes 6.4kg HE

Copy of ‘Grad’ MLRS produced in China, Egypt, Rumania, South Africa, Iraq and Iran (‘?rash’). Iranian variant is truck-mounted, with up to 30 launch tubes depending on model. Hizballah makes use of lighter trucks with 10 launch tubes, and of single launch tubes analogous to the Soviet 9K132 ‘Grad-P’ (‘Partisan’) system. Launchers intended for delivery to the PA were of the latter type.

Range depends on variant and warhead; data above is for BM-21OF (most common variant). Rocket is stabilized in flight by rotation and stabilizer fins, which open after launch. 

Link Here 

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Total rocket attacks:

Since the first rocket fell on Israel on 16 April 2001: 3,706

Since the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in August 2005: 3,123

Since the Hamas takeover of Gaza in mid-June 2007: 1,685

This year:

From 1 Jan through 30 Nov 2008: 1,212

 

Mortar bomb hits since April 2001: 3,948 

Please see this link to get the most up to date amount of attacks.