What is the Jericho Missile System?

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What is the Jericho Missile System? Blog Image


An Israeli legislator's recent calls for the use of a "doomsday" weapon against Hamas and Palestine have once again put the spotlight on nuclear weapons in West Asia, particularly the Jericho missile system.

About Jericho Missile System:

  • Jericho is Israel's original ballistic missile programmeinitiated in the 1960s and named after the biblical city located in the West Bank.
  • This programme was initially a collaboration with the French aerospace company Dassault, but when France withdrew in 1969Israel continued its development.
  • Jericho-1:
    • It had a weight of 6.5 tonnes, a length of 13.4 metres, and a diameter of 0.8 metres.
    • It had a range of 500 kilometres and could carry a 1,000-kilogram payload, though it had a 50 percent chance of hitting within a 1,000-metre radius of its target.
    • It was retired in the 1990s.
  • Jericho-2:
    • It was developed in the late 1980s, with a length of 15 metres and a diameter of 1.35 metres, while maintaining the same payload capacity
    • It had a range between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres.
  • Jericho-3:
    • It is the first Israeli Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM).
    • It was first tested in 2008 and entered service in 2011.
    • It featured improvements over the previous models, with a longer length than Jericho-2 and a larger diameter of 1.56 metres.
    • It has an estimated launch weight of 29,000 kg and a payload of 1,000 to 1,300 kg.
    • It has a range of 4,800 to 6,500 km and uses inertial guidance with a radar-guided warhead.
    • The missile is reportedly equipped with a 750-kg nuclear warhead.


Q1) What is a Ballistic Missile?

Ballistic missiles are powered initially by a rocket or series of rockets in stages, but then follow an unpowered trajectory that arches upwards before descending to reach its intended target. Ballistic missiles can carry either nuclear or conventional warheads.

Source: What is Jericho missile system? Israel's potential 'doomsday' nuclear option