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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Hezbollah's rocket force
The mainstay of Hezbollah's rocket force are small 122mm artillery rockets known by the generic term "Katyusha". The name - which means "little Katy" in Russian - was coined more than 60 years ago by Soviet Red Army troops who fired them at the invading German army.

During World War II the Katyushas' distinctive screech cast a powerful psychological spell over the enemy. In northern Israel today, later versions of the rocket remain crude, yet often effective, weapons.

Map: Hezbollah missile ranges


Hezbollah's Katyushas are thought to derive mainly from former Soviet and Chinese stockpiles. A typical example is the Soviet BM-21 Grad missile, which was first deployed in 1963 and has a maximum range of about 25km.

Because of their lack of a guidance system, Katyushas have the greatest effect when launched in concentrated numbers.

Since 2001, Hezbollah is believed to have acquired a number of truck-mounted Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers [MRBL], enabling them to fire such multiple barrages.

Images broadcast recently by Hezbollah's TV station appeared to show what the group described as a Ra-ad 1 missile being fired. Military analysts believe this missile was an Iranian-built Shahin I missile, which has a range of about 13km.


Recent missile strikes on Israel's northern port city of Haifa indicate that Hezbollah may also have acquired longer-range missiles.

Most of these are believed to be Iranian-manufactured systems like the Fajr-3, with a 45-km range; the Fajr-5, with a range of some 75km.

Some analysts believe that Hezbollah also has the more potent Zelzal-2 which has a claimed range of 200-400km and can be fitted with a 600kg high-explosive warhead. Its solid fuel system means that it can be more easily transported and prepared for firing.

Most analysts believe a more realistic range to be about 100km, but this would still bring much of Tel Aviv - Israel's largest population centre - within its range.

None of these are guided or accurate systems, but often accuracy is not important if the target is an urban area.

Hezbollah missile types

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