RAFAEL, an Israeli weapons development and manufacturing company, presented their new product earlier, which it described as “the best anti-tank missile in the world.”
In my opinion, this is not an exaggeration at all. We are talking about a unique missile — the world’s first anti-tank missile, called the 6th generation missile.
In the military sphere, it is customary to divide combat systems into “generations” according to their degree of innovation, e.g. the F-35 stealth aircraft is the fifth generation, the F-16 is the fourth generation, and the “Phantom” is a third generation aircraft.
Similarly, gradations are introduced for “generations” of anti-tank missile systems. The previous model of the Tammuz missile was defined as the fifth generation (and was one of the first such missiles in the world). The new missile, which is in fact a unique improvement of the previous “Tammuz” missile model, is defined as the sixth generation, and thus becomes the only one of its kind in the entire world.
What is so special about this rocket?
Below I will try to focus your attention on a number of the most significant points.
1. The range: the “ordinary” Tammuz missile also had a very impressive range — its first models could overcome 10-15 km, today its range reaches 25-30 km.
The new Tammuz missile of the sixth generation has a range of 32 km when launched from the ground, and an astonishing (for an ATCM) range of 50 km when launched from a helicopter!
Such a long range allows attack helicopters to launch missiles from beyond the range of the vast majority of existing anti-aircraft systems. In other words, our helicopter will remain safe, destroying enemy targets at this time from a great distance, in complete surprise — because the enemy will most likely not even notice the helicopter at the distance from which the missile will be launched.
2. Multiple rocket launches and simultaneous targeting: the ability to launch and target multiple rockets simultaneously. Most portable anti-tank systems are launched individually. At the same time, the operator, who is responsible for reaching his target, is able to control only one missile each time.
The new missile, on the other hand, has the ability to send 4 missiles simultaneously, and the operator can guide and track them all, “aiming” each at an individual target. The multiple fire capability is a completely new capability that allows you to attack 4 enemy targets simultaneously, quadrupling the target engagement rate, which is definitely an amazing improvement.
3. Transfer of control: the new missile is known to have another unique capability that allows the control of the missile during its flight to be transferred from one operator to another.
So, for example, a missile can be launched from some aircraft, which, sensing a threat from, say, long-range anti-aircraft batteries (such as the S-300), can transfer control of the launched missile and its guidance to some ground unit that is not threatened, immediately leaving the risk zone after that.
This is a unique capability that is also groundbreaking and, to my knowledge, unmatched by anti-tank missiles from other countries (including the United States). Clearly, this capability provides tremendous flexibility for missile operators, gaining the potential to transfer control from one operator to the other, from aircraft to ground vehicles, from vehicles to fighters stationed directly on the battlefield and observing targets. It is clear that in this way it is possible to provide unusually high accuracy of fire while remaining safe and avoiding risk for the operator who launched the missile.
4. Image construction: the new missile also has the ability to acquire images of different targets during flight and then, using unique image processing techniques, “build itself” an image of how it should have “seen” the target, walking on its course, from its angle of view. By comparing this artificially obtained image with what it “sees” in front of it, the missile is able to locate the desired target, map it and then destroy it.
This is also a revolutionary technology. Until now, missiles with an electro-optical guidance system had to receive the exact image that the missile expects to “see” through its sensors. In other words, it was first necessary to conduct an advance reconnaissance of the target for the upcoming attack, photograph the target from all possible angles, then transmit these precise images (usually several possible images at once) to the missile, so that it could compare them with what it “sees,” while flying up to the supposed target site, and only then could it determine the exact position of the target and destroy it.
Now such preliminary reconnaissance loses its critical importance.
The new missile is able to receive images from drones or spy planes already in flight, even though they may be far away from it and “see” the desired target quite differently (flying at a different altitude and at a different angle), and then using its artificial intelligence system, comparing all images, using special algorithms and unique techniques, generate the image that it should “see” before itself — at its own flight angle and altitude. Then, having detected this target using image processing algorithms, it will be able to aim and hit it accurately.
(Of course, this also leaves the possibility for continuous control of the missile by the operator throughout the flight, without relying on automatic targeting by means of artificial images.)
It is worth recalling that the “Tammuz” missile has been one of the biggest “surprises” Israel has prepared for the Syrian Army for decades, primarily as a result of the lessons learned from the heavy losses of our air force in the Yom Kippur War.
The missile was declassified and put on public display only about ten years ago, after years of strict confidentiality. The new model “Tammuz” missile, presented the other day, is another revolutionary step in the capability to destroy important high-value targets at long range without risk to the launchers or the operators.
When we see all this and realize the magnitude of the Almighty`s providence that reveals itself to the people of Israel in the development of high-quality weapon systems unmatched by even the world`s most powerful superpowers, including: “Iron Dome”, the “windbreaker” (a tank protection system against APCs) recently purchased by the USA, as well as the latest, incomparable laser systems for intercepting missiles worldwide, “helmet” guidance systems (created by the Israeli “Elbit” company and now part of the standard helmet in all stealth aircraft made in the USA) and much more, we understand that G-d helps the people of Israel defend themselves against all their enemies. Therefore, we should not be afraid. We have no one to fear, for G-d protects us and helps us (through miracles that occur naturally) to defeat all our enemies and those who hate us.
All this we see, for example, with regard to the Iranian nuclear program, in the confrontation of which the Mossad has clearly made enormous progress throughout the last decades.
The lesson from all this is that we must not be afraid or retreat in the face of enemies who wish our destruction, including the Palestinian Arabs, who feel that the present government is about to hand Israel over to them for tearing the country apart.
We are strong enough and we have many capabilities. And the great providence of the Almighty is with us, helping us to defeat our enemies when we begin to stand up to them with decisiveness, as we do when we stand up to the Iranian regime. As soon as we stop fearing and doubting when confronting our enemies, we succeed!
What a shame that even right-wing Israeli governments, not to mention the present one, are so often willing to cave in and retreat, afraid of what “other nations” will say, how Hamas, “Palestinian Jihad,” “Palestinian Authority” and the rest of our enemies will behave...
No, that is not our path!