The IDF operates and uses Lahav multi-caliber MLRS

The IDF operates and uses Lahav multi-caliber MLRS
Serial MLRS "Lahav" of the Israeli army. Photo by IDF

Several years ago, the Israel Defense Forces began purchasing and developing the promising Lahav multi-caliber multiple launch rocket system. To date, such equipment has been deployed among the troops in small quantities and has been mastered by crews at the required level. Reportedly, a few months ago the real combat use of the new MLRS began - combat vehicles use different types of missiles and fire at targets in the Gaza Strip.

Way to the troops

The main Israeli developer of rocket artillery in the past was Israel Military Industries (IMI). In the mid-2000s, it introduced a new MLRS called Lynx (English: “Lynx”) and “Kotesh” (Hebrew: “Crushing”), capable of using missiles of different calibers.

In 2018, IMI became part of Elbit Systems and continued to work as a developer of land systems. The new owners decided to continue the development of the Kotesh project, and already in 2019 they presented an upgraded modular multi-caliber MLRS called PULS (Precise & Universal Launching System).

The PULS product was of interest to the IDF. No later than 2019-20 an agreement emerged for the supply of such equipment, modified to meet customer requirements. In 2020, the first few products arrived in army units, and the personnel began to master them. Later it became known that the PULS modification for the Israeli army received its own name “Lahav” (“Blade”).

"Lahav" on the march. Photo by IDF

According to known data, the 3rd company (battery) of the 334th battalion (division) of the 282nd artillery brigade of the IDF ground forces was the first to receive new equipment. In this unit, new systems replaced the existing American-made M270 products in service. The dimensions of the first batch of new MLRS were not specified. However, the rearmament of only one company/battery indicated the small number of equipment purchased. Over the next few years, the only company on the Lahav mastered its new equipment, participated in exercises, etc.

Combat application

In early February 2024, Israeli media reported that the 334th Division and its MLRS were actively participating in Operation Iron Swords in the Gaza Strip. So, already on October 8 last year - the day after the Hamas attack - a unit was transferred from its place of permanent deployment to the Sector area. For some time after arrival, no combat missions were assigned to the division.

Then came the first orders to attack certain objects deep within the Sector. To defeat them, 122 mm Romakh missiles with a range of 35 km were mainly used. This is the simplest ammunition for the Lahav, which in fact represents another foreign version of the modernization of the Soviet Grad missile. It is possible that new multi-caliber modular MLRS were also used in Gaza by other ammunition with different range and power indicators.

Missile launch by a pair of Lahav MLRS. Photo by IDF

According to known data, the main activity of rocket artillery occurred in the first one and a half to two months of operations in the Sector. It is alleged that MLRS successfully hit their intended targets, destroy terrorists and demonstrate high accuracy and efficiency of fire. However, detailed information on the use of Lahav products and other systems is not available and is unlikely to be published in a reasonable time.

However, it should be recalled that since the beginning of the “Iron Swords”, the authorities in the Gaza Strip have regularly reported civilian casualties. The death toll now numbers tens of thousands. It is likely that a certain number of Gazan residents, including children, were killed by Israeli rocket artillery shells. The share of such victims in the total number cannot be determined, but the main features of the MLRS to a certain extent contribute to its growth.

Universal system

The promising Lynx / Kotesh MLRS was at one time created as a complex capable of using missiles of different calibers and types with different flight characteristics and combat equipment. In further modernizations, this approach was retained. Like the base model, modern MLRS PULS and Lahav are multi-caliber. Thanks to this, the entire family of multiple launch rocket systems from IMI / Elbit is capable of hitting various targets over a wide range of ranges.

The Lahav MLRS for the IDF is based on a four-axle HEMTT automobile chassis manufactured by the American company Oshkosh. Such a platform is capable of carrying all the necessary components, and also provides high mobility and mobility. On the highway, the MLRS reaches speeds of up to 100 km/h. In Israel's characteristic desert terrain, mobility also remains at a high level.

Hitting a target with an unknown type of missile. Photo by IDF

The chassis sequentially houses a protected crew cabin with a cabover layout, an engine compartment, a crane for loading ammunition and a universal launcher. Hydraulic jacks are provided at the corners of the cargo area with the launcher for hanging before firing.

The launcher is made in the form of a rotating base with a swinging frame, on which two standardized transport and launch containers with missiles are mounted. Recharging the installation is carried out by simply replacing the TPK. In the case of Lahav, this procedure is performed using a standard crane installation.

A standard TPK can contain 18 tubular guides with 122 mm caliber missiles, such as Romakh / ACCULAR with a flight range of 35 km and a combat load of 20 kg. A 13-seater container with 160 mm LAR-160 missiles or similar ACCULAR series products is available. The most advanced examples of this family show a range of 40 km.

To attack targets at a distance of up to 150 km, an EXTRA missile with a caliber of 306 mm and a mass of 570 kg is proposed, of which 120 kg is a warhead. The unified TPK can accommodate four such products. The installation can launch Delilah-GL cruise missiles with a range of 250 km and a payload of 30 kg. Due to the design features, the containers are single-person. The longest-range ammunition for PULS / Lahav is the 370 mm 800 kg Predator Hawk ballistic missile with a warhead weighing 160 kg. Two guides for such products were included in the TPK.

Israeli Lahav MLRS with EXTRA missiles (in the background) and the PULS export system with 122 mm missiles. Photo Elbit Systems

On board the Lahav combat vehicle there is a full-fledged fire control system that ensures the use of all compatible ammunition. Apparently, by updating the software, it is possible to integrate new missiles of one type or another. The control system automatically determines the coordinates of the MLRS, receives target designation and calculates data for firing, as well as directs the launcher and enters tasks into the missile equipment.

Thus, depending on the ammunition used, the Lahav MLRS can attack targets at ranges from 3-5 to 250-300 km and deliver warheads of different types to them - high-explosive fragmentation, cassette with different fillings, etc. For guided missiles equipped with satellite and inertial navigation, the stated CEP is no more than 5-10 m.

Prospects for the Army

To date, the Lahav MLRS has entered service with only one unit of the IDF ground forces. This technique has already been tested in a real military operation and will probably contribute to further rearmament. Apparently, Elbit Systems Land will continue to produce new multi-caliber MLRS and various ammunition for them. Over time, the number and share of such equipment in the troops will increase significantly.

Destruction in the Gaza Strip. Some of this damage was caused by Israeli MLRS. Photo by Fars News

According to The Military Balance 2024, the IDF's rocket artillery is not very numerous. Only 30 M270 systems and a number of modern Lahav products remain in service. Another 18 M270 and about 70 LAR-160/290 family systems are in storage.

In such conditions, the continued production of new Lahav MLRS is of great importance for the IDF. First of all, it will increase the number of missile systems in the troops. In addition, due to multi-caliber systems, missile forces will become a more flexible instrument capable of solving a wider range of tasks. With all this, the new combat vehicles are distinguished by high performance and operational characteristics and carry modern instrumentation that simplifies the solution of combat missions and increases the efficiency of fire.

So in stories Israel's missile forces and artillery begin a new chapter. Modern, effective MLRS, which have a number of characteristic advantages, are coming into service, and they are already being used in real military operations. However, the potential of such equipment and weapons in practice is wasted in the most dubious way and with ethically unacceptable results.
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  1. +1
    14 March 2024 08: 59
    The concept is correct, we should also continue to develop this direction more actively, in order to hit squares with cheap missiles, and with adjustable missiles and remotely install mines.
    1. 2al
      April 25 2024 16: 53
      Multi-caliber also has its disadvantages - for light RS, a heavy platform is clearly redundant and expensive. But there is an undoubted advantage in batch reloading, when the launcher can be reloaded in a very short time, which is very significant when using UAVs and high-precision missiles. Moreover, in a TPK, missiles can be protected from fragments and fire, but the downside is that the choice of warhead for a missile is limited and more difficult than with separate loading, although again this possibility is constructively realizable.
  2. -1
    14 March 2024 11: 12
    Death to Israeli fascists! Fascist Israel must be destroyed!
    1. 0
      17 May 2024 07: 48
      Death to Israeli fascists! Fascist Israel must be destroyed!

      Hello Recep Tagipovich)))
  3. 0
    15 March 2024 16: 44
    Up to 100 km/h is impressive - will allow you to avoid a counter-battery strike, reload speed up to 10 minutes.
    Udar left the position, quickly reloaded, volleyed to another area.
  4. +3
    15 March 2024 23: 25
    Quote: Nikolaevich I
    Death to Israeli fascists! Fascist Israel must be destroyed!

    You are being fiercely downvoted here by the accomplices of Zionist Israel.

    Today by RT (eng) there was a terrible report about how Israeli fascists mowed down several dozen civilians in Palestine.

    Discussing now the advantages of Zionist weapons is as immoral as if site visitors were discussing the advantages of this or that gas used in death camps to kill concentration camp prisoners during the Second World War.