A report by BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre – an independent British think tank producing research and analysis to increase understanding of Israel and the Middle East in the UK – claims that Hezbollah has embarked on a major project to upgrade thousands of missiles with new systems that would enhance their accuracy to allow them to hit targets within 50 meters. Such a development would significantly upgrade the Lebanese terror group’s offensive capabilities – and almost guarantee a major confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah, as well as its patron Iran, the report cited by Hadashot News said.
According to the group, Hezbollah is believed to have as many as 100,000 missiles, but no more than 200 of them are precision guided. As such, the vast majority of missiles, if fired, would not be guaranteed to hit their targets, and any missile likely to hit a military base, infrastructure, or inhabited area could be deflected by one of Israel’s three defense missile systems – Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems.
However, the report said, Hezbollah is working on a “precision project” to “upgrade its 14,000 Zelzal-2 missiles with precision guidance systems that would enhance their accuracy to 50 km from their intended target with a range of 210 km. Such a project could trigger war with Israel, who would be confronted with the dilemma as to whether to launch a pre-emptive strike and destroy Hezbollah missile factories or delay military action and risk facing a substantially more destructive missile threat to its critical infrastructure and population centers,” the report said.
The report added that Hezbollah is doing the upgrade work in underground workshops, originally built by Iran. The IDF estimates that in a future war the terror group could fire as many as 1,200 missiles a day at Israel. Between 20 and 40 of the precision-guided missiles “would destroy a specific, hardened military target with 75 per cent confidence. For softer targets, such as urban centers, the number of missiles required is significantly less,” the report said.
“Israel has a legacy of pre-emptive military action against strategic threats,” BICOM said. “However, any such pre-emptive strike would almost certainly lead to a major violent conflagration that both sides are loathe to undertake. Israeli decision makers would also be concerned about the level of international support for such a move, which also helps explain Israel’s strategy of making public statements about the threat,” the report added.