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Jericho III

Intercontinental ballistic missile

Jericho III ICBM

The Jericho III is the first Israeli intercontinental ballistic missile

 
 
Entered service 2008
Basing Silo-based
Missile
Missile length 15.5 m
Missile diameter 1.56 m
Missile launch weight ~ 30 t
Warhead weight ~ 1 t
Number of MIRVs 1
Warhead yield ~ 20 kT
Range of fire ~ 11 500 km
CEP ~ 1 000 m

 

   The Jericho III is the first Israeli Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM). It is a further development of the Jericho I Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) and Jericho II Medium-Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM). It is also believed to share technology with the Shavit space launch vehicle.

   The Jericho III is known to be 15.5 m in length and 1.56 m in diameter, and is estimated to weigh 30 000 kg. While the Jericho I and Jericho II are both uniformly cylindrical in shape, the Jericho III's first and second stages are very different in diameter. Both the first and second stage have small fins for drag stabilization, and possibly for maneuvering purposes.

   It employs inertial guidance, while the final stage with the warhead is radar-guided. The warhead is not believed to be particularly accurate compared to those of the ICBMs employed by the superpowers, with an estimated CEP of 1 000 m.

   The range of the Jericho III is substantial, encompassing the entirety of the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and most of North America, South America, and North Oceania. As such, the Jericho III enables the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to launch a nuclear warhead into almost any location on Earth. At relatively closer-range targets, the reentry velocity is such that the Jericho III is believed to be largely immune to all operational missile defense systems.

   The warhead of this missile is estimated to weigh 1 000 kg, and conventional, biological, chemical, and nuclear warheads are believed to exist, though the full range of warhead options are impossible to confirm due to the secretive nature of the IDF missile command. Some sources report, that yield of the Jericho III's nuclear warhead is approximately 20 kT. Though a yield this small by modern ICBM standard, it is arguably capable of causing significant damage to a modern battlefield or city. It is sufficient for the purpose of a nuclear deterrent.

   The Jericho III is known to be silo-based, though some sources claim that it may have a road-mobile version. The land-based silos are claimed to be virtually invulnerable to nuclear attack.

   Though it entered service in 2008, the Jericho III was not declared operational until 2011. The first test launch is believed to have occurred in January 2008, with a motor test in the following February. Several additional test launches have been reported, including one in July of 2013. In 2011 an upgraded version of the Jericho III was tested. The success rate of the Jericho III in both launching and guidance is unknown.

   The cost and numbers of the Jericho III are classified, though it is likely that the development costs associated with this missile have precluded the IDF from fielding as many as with the preceding Jericho-series missiles.

 

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Video of the Jericho III intercontinental ballistic missile

 
Jericho III ICBM

Jericho III ICBM

Jericho III ICBM

 

 

 

 

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