Israeli Military Industries Systems (IMI Systems) and Israel Aerospace Industries, revealed a new air-launched, GPS-guided, supersonic missile called Rampage — that can hit high-quality targets more than 90-miles away.
The missile can be mounted to the Israel Air Force’s McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II with capabilities to launch the supersonic missile outside the enemy’s detection and interception systems.
The two Israeli state-run defense companies officially unveiled the new missile in a press release on June 11.
According to the release, the supersonic missile was produced in response to a clear operational need of the ever so expanding modern battlefield, as the “counter weapon,” against new, rapidly emerging complex air defense environments in Iran and neighboring Syria. In other words, Iran and Syria are deploying new missile shields that could render the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) aircraft inoperable in specific regions.
In the past 12 to 18 months, both defense firms have jointly tested Rampage with the IAF and have shown the missile is fully operational.
The missile is expected to head into series production and will be available for sale in 2019. The IAF is expected to purchase the rocket “to improve its surgical high-precision strikes with minimum collateral damage,” said Israel’s Ynet News.
A video presentation shows a combination of an IAF F-16 air launching Rampage coupled with computer graphic scenes showing the missile striking enemy targets.
“Sending four fighter jets carrying four Rampage missiles [each] allows us to strike under conditions we’ve never had before,” Eli Reiter, head of IMI Systems’ Firepower Division, told Ynet.
“IMI Systems and IAI are proud to unveil a response to the challenges of modern battlefields. The Rampage joins a family of accurate rockets, which we have been providing to advanced militaries for years. Rampage complements the air response with a quantum leap in performance and extraordinary cost-effectiveness ratio, two factors which are important to many air forces around the world,” Reiter said in the company’s press release.
Boaz Levy, general manager and executive VP of IAI’s Rockets and Space Group, told Ynet that the supersonic missile’s cost is approximately one-third of the price of similar missiles being sold on the global defense market.
The missile’s warhead will be guided by GPS-assisted inertial navigation system (INS) guidance package to hit enemy targets, which will allow the warhead to strike its target during the day/night and in any weather condition.
IMI Systems told Ynet that the missile could repel an electronic warfare attack, the company added, “additional algorithm-based navigation system as a backup will give the missile immunity.”
At the beginning of 2018, Syrian anti-aircraft missiles downed an IAF’s F-16 returning from a bombing campaign on Iran-backed positions in Syria.
While the winds of war appear unavoidable in Iran and or Syria, the IAF’s need for precision-guided supersonic missiles with long-range capabilities is essential before the next major conflict erupts. Otherwise, the emerging threat of high-tech Iranian/Syrian missile shields could pose a significant threat for the IAF.