Saturday, February 7, 2009


Hamas fires first shore-to-ship C-802 missile

31 Jan.: DEBKAfile's military sources reveal a formidable addition to Hamas' arsenal: The missile fired from Gaza out to the Mediterranean last week was not a Qassam as reported but a C-802, the Iranian shore-to-ship Nur C-802 missile, which is based on the Chinese "Silkworm."

It was launched by Iranian officers who are training Hamas operatives in its use before delivering a large consignment. With its 120-km range and 165-kilo warhead, the C-802's mission is to break Israel's 40 km blockade of Gaza's waters. This is now the key objective of Tehran and the Palestinian Islamists.

The Israeli Navy's first brush with the C-802 was in the 2006 Lebanon war. On July 14, it was used by Hizballah to cripple the Hanit missile ship opposite Beirut.Our sources affirm that arms smuggling to Gaza continues by land and sea at the pre-war tempo notwithstanding the brave talk in Jerusalem, Washington and Cairo of a concerted effort to stem the flow.

Since 2006, military experts note, Iran has upgraded the C-802 in an important respect. A new version, of which 1,000 have been delivered to Hizballah, operates without radar. It has the attributes of a cruise missile with small radar reflectivity, a strong anti-jamming capability and the ability to skim as low as 5-7 meters from the water's surface under the targeted ship's radar. Tehran claims 98 percent targeting effectiveness for its updated Nur anti-ship missile.

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