The Israeli industry offers domestic and foreign customers a lot of various complexes and weapons systems, but not all such developments receive the desired attention. So, the LORA operational-tactical missile system, developed by the IAI concern in the first half of the XNUMXs, is still not popular in the market. He entered service in only one country, and in very limited quantities.
The development of the future OTRK LORA (Long Range Attack) started no later than the beginning of the 2003s. Already in 2004-2006. the complex was tested at land and sea ranges. Upon completion of testing, in XNUMX, the complex was shown for the first time at an international military-technical exhibition, and from that its promotion on the market began.
Before the LORA project, several main tasks were set, which were solved by creating a new quasi-ballistic missile and other components. It was necessary to obtain the maximum possible firing range corresponding to the operational-tactical class. High accuracy of hits and the ability to hit different targets were required. It was proposed to provide high flexibility of use due to compatibility with ground and surface platforms.
All tasks were successfully completed, resulting in a full-fledged OTRK. At the same time, the development of the LORA system does not stop. Concern IAI continues to improve the project and regularly conducts new tests. So, the last launches from the ship were carried out at the beginning of last summer.
Despite a certain design perfection, high performance and declared capabilities, OTRK LORA was never able to take the desired place on the international market. Over the past 15 years, the development organization has received only one contract for the supply of a small number of such systems.
The main component of the LORA complex is a single-stage solid-propellant quasi-ballistic missile. In the original version offered by the Israel Defense Forces, this product had a range of up to 430 km. The export modification complies with the restrictions and flies only 300 km.
The LORA rocket is made in a cylindrical body with a conical head and equipped with an X-shaped set of rudders that can be deployed in flight. The head compartment of the hull is given over to the warhead. Almost all other volumes are occupied by a solid fuel engine. The instrument compartment with control equipment is located in the tail, around the engine nozzle. The length of the product is 5,2 m with a case diameter of 625 mm. Launch weight - 1600 kg.
LORA is equipped with a guidance system with satellite and inertial navigation devices, which allows it to attack stationary targets with known coordinates. The possibility of using a television head was mentioned earlier. Flight control is carried out by means of electric rudders.
OTRK LORA of the Azerbaijani army is probably the only combat systems of this type, 2018 Photo AP Azerbaijan
The missile is made quasi-ballistic and has the ability to perform various maneuvers that provide a departure from a predictable trajectory. Automation retains the ability to control at all stages of the flight, up to hitting the target. Depending on the type of the intended target, a fall with an angle of 60 ° to 90 ° to the horizon is possible. KVO - 10 m.
The payload of the LORA rocket reaches 570 kg. A monoblock high-explosive fragmentation and penetrating warhead, as well as cassettes with submunitions of various types, were developed and offered to customers. At the moment, only a high-explosive fragmentation warhead appears in the official materials on the project.
The rocket is equipped with a solid propellant engine, which is responsible for the start and acceleration in the active phase. Such an engine provides a sufficient supply of energy for flight at a distance of more than 350-400 km and for maneuvering on a trajectory. During the flight, the rocket develops hypersonic speed, but it is not specified in which section. Probably, we are talking about the last descending part of the trajectory.
LORA missiles are delivered in sealed transport and launch containers. The guaranteed shelf life is 7 years. TPK has a rectangular section and characteristic ribbed walls. Inside it there is a longitudinal guide that holds the rocket during transportation and sets the starting trajectory.
The OTRK LORA also includes fire control systems installed on the carrier. These include communications, a satellite navigation system, a high-speed computer, and equipment for entering data into the rocket's electronics. The possibility of the fastest possible preparation for firing is declared: from making a decision to defeat a target to detonating a warhead, depending on the firing range, it takes no more than 10 minutes.
TPK with a LORA rocket can be used on various types of launchers. First of all, a four-container unit was developed for mounting on a vehicle chassis. A cargo platform with a lifting jib under the TPK is mounted on a vehicle with a carrying capacity of at least 16 tons. The control equipment is installed in the cockpit.
OTRKs on a wheeled chassis were used during all major tests conducted by IAI and potential customers. Such complexes were fired from the ground and from the deck of surface ships. In all cases, it was possible to obtain high combat characteristics.
At the request of the customer, the launcher for four missiles can be placed directly on the ship. In this case, it is possible to modify the design, taking into account the specifics of sea operation, and the fire control means are integrated into general ship systems.
Missiles in the troops
OTRK LORA entered the international market in 2006, and the IAI concern began to wait for orders. Unfortunately for the developers, potential buyers were not interested in the new complex. The first order for it was received only many years after the start of the advertising campaign. However, the manufacturing organization does not lose hope and keeps the LORA missile system in the catalog of products available for order.
The starting customer for the LORA OTRK could be the Israel Defense Forces, but, for some reason, it was not interested in domestic development. However, there is also other information that can change the known picture.
So, in December 2017, Russian and foreign media reported about another attempt by the Israeli military to destroy Syrian facilities. It was mentioned that the LORA complex was used in this operation, but the Russian-made Pantsir-C1 air defense missile system shot down a flying missile. Israel did not comment on such news and did not confirm the presence of LORA in service. It is curious that on the same days news came in about the next tests of the complex at sea.
In mid-2018, it became known about the first real order at LORA. Several launchers and missiles were acquired by Azerbaijan. In June of the same year, two combat vehicles were involved in a military parade in Baku. According to The Military Balance 2021, this was the entire fleet of new OTRKs of the Azerbaijani army. In the fall of 2020, the first combat use of LORA missiles was reported. Azerbaijan used this weapon to destroy a strategically important bridge in the area of Shusha.
So far, nothing is known about the interest from new potential buyers. Perhaps the successful combat use of the LORA complex will attract attention and positively affect its commercial prospects. However, over the past decade and a half, the advertising campaign has not produced much results, and recent events will not allow counting on a change in the situation.
Due to the rather high tactical and technical characteristics, the LORA OTRK can be considered a successful modern weapon. The lack of any success and mass orders can be explained by a general decline in interest in the topic of operational-tactical missile systems and high competition in this part of the international market. For all its strengths, LORA does not have cardinal advantages over foreign developments.
Thus, due to objective factors and limitations, the Israeli OTRK LORA from IAI for a decade and a half did not become the subject of mass orders and did not go into a full-scale series. Taking into account the events of the past and the current situation, it can be assumed that this state of affairs will continue in the future - and a couple of Azerbaijani complexes will remain the only products in real service.