Hiz b'allah tech sophistication grows


Aviation Week & Space Technology offers a chilling account of Israel's efforts to identify the origins of and counter the flow of increasingly sophisticated weapons into Hiz b'allah's hands. These guys are not dumb, and they are not just passively receiving weapons from Iran.

Israel isn't always certain where the weapons originated. For instance, while the 302mm. system resembles the Chinese WS—1 mounted on a more modern vehicle, the official says, it doesn't appear to be the Chinese system. Moreover, that configuration has not been seen in Iran, he adds, although the basic WS—1 has been exported there. The launchers feature two layers of three firing tubes each. [....]

Israel, after leading for years in air combat operational capabilities, now is trying to catch up with the networked, around—the—clock pace the U.S. has been refining since 2001.

Limitations remain, and highlight Israel's poor human intelligence in Lebanon, compared to the West Bank and and Gaza Strip. The July 30 attack on a building in Qana that killed dozens of civilians made the targeting problems all too apparent. Late last week, Israeli officials defended the Qana raid, which involved two missiles, the second a dud. They note that 150 rockets were launched from within the village of Qana and insist they were operating with information no civilians were at the site. Israel will review its rules of engagement, the defense ministry says, but with a clear indication it will not rein in pilots' ability to act.

Dennis Sevakis   8 08 06