June 29, 2010
Estimates for Hezbollah's Arsenal
Lebanese Hezbollah has a diverse modern arsenal that contributes to its political power in Lebanon and adds credibility to its threats against Israel. Hezbollah’s recent acquisition of Fateh 110 missiles, which can strike Tel Aviv, has increased the danger it poses to Israeli security. Recent reports indicate that the group is continuing to expand its ballistic missile arsenal by acquiring Syrian Scud missiles. Hezbollah’s possession and continued acquisition of weapons is in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which required that all Lebanese militias disarm following the July 2006 war in which Hezbollah displayed its anti-ship, anti-tank, and UAV capabilities. It has not, however, claimed credit for any rocket attacks on Israel since the ceasefire.
By all accounts Hezbollah’s stockpile is now more powerful and sophisticated than what the Lebanese army possesses. Its position within the national unity government permits Hezbollah to wield great influence within the government and it has succeeded in delaying the discussion of its arsenal at the national defense strategy talks. Those in Lebanon who seek to subsume Hezbollah’s militia into the Lebanese Armed Forces do not have the political power to achieve such a goal at this point. Hezbollah is likely to retain its independent military force for the foreseeable future.
The presentation of Hezbollah’s arsenal that follows was drawn from available published information. It is not definitive because Hezbollah has traditionally understated its capabilities– the use of a cruise missile in the July 2006 war, for example, surprised analysts. Israel also appears to have underestimated the size and strength of the Hezbollah arsenal in that war.
Please see the Iran-Lebanese Hezbollah Relationship Tracker 2010 for updated information regarding arms transfers to the group.
Estimates of Hezbollah’s overall missile arsenal range from 40,000 to 50,000 large-caliber munitions of all kinds. Israel estimates that Hezbollah has about 40,000, most of them shorter-range rockets and mortar shells.
Weapons Reportedly Possessed by Hezbollah:
10-20 kg payload, 40 km range, unguided. This was the main weapon used by Hezbollah during July 2006 war.
Fajr Missiles – 120 missiles
45 kg payload, 45 km range, unguided.
90 kg payload, 70 km range, unguided.
70 km range, unguided, Syrian origin. 220mm rockets are thought to have hit Haifa, Israel in July 2006 war.
100 km range, unguided, Syrian origin.
C-802 Anti-Shipping Cruise Missile
165 kg payload, 120 km range, Iranian origin. A C-802 hit the Israeli ship Hanit during the July 2006 war, crippling the ship’s propulsion system and killing four sailors.
190 kg payload, 13 km range, unguided, Iranian origin.
200-250 kg payload, 200 km range, GPS guidance. First reported to have been transferred to Hezbollah in 2007. M600 is the Syrian equivalent of the Iranian Fateh 110. Israeli defense officials said that Syria had supplied Hezbollah with M600 missiles in the past year.
600 kg payload, 200-400 km range, unguided, Iranian origin. There are reports that Hezbollah started to acquire Zelzal 2 missiles before the 2006 war. Hezbollah sources told the Kuwaiti paper al Rai that Hezbollah possesses a wide range of missiles with a heavy payload, including the 1-ton Zelzal missile and half-ton Fateh 110 and M600 missiles.
Scud C/D – The Times of London reported in May 2010 that Israeli and American intelligence agencies believe that at least two missiles have been transferred from Syria to Hezbollah. Reports of an alleged transfer of Scud missiles emerged in early April 2010. The origin of transferred missiles is unclear, but Syria’s Scud C’s are believed to be from Russia, while it developed its own Scud D with technical assistance from North Korea. The Scud D has a guidance system, while the Scud C does not.
770 kg payload, 550-700 km range.
Russian-made MCLOS guided anti-tank missile. Effective range of up to 3 km. Supplied by Syria.
Russian-made SACLOS guided anti-tank missile. Effective range of up to 2.5 km. Supplied by Syria.
Russian-made guided anti-tank missile. Effective range of up to 4 km. Hezbollah allegedly uses Iranian-made copies of the weapons according to Israeli reports.
Russian anti-tank weapon smuggled to Hezbollah by Syria. AT-13 missiles were used to destroy Israeli Merkava tanks during 2006 war. Effective range of up to 1.5 km.
Advanced Russian laser-guided anti-tank weapon used to disable Israeli Merkava tanks during the 2006 war. The AT-14 has an effective range of up to 5 km. Israeli reports suggest Syria supplied Hezbollah with the weapon systems.
Unguided Russian-made rocket-propelled grenade capable of penetrating tank armor, supplied to Hezbollah by Syria. Effective range of up to 500 meters. Israeli officials claim that the RPG-29 was a leading cause of IDF casualties during the 2006 war, penetrating Merkava tank armor on multiple occasions.
Mirsad 1/ Ababil T
Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicle used by Hezbollah for reconnaissance. The UAV was seen flying over northern Israeli territory as early as 2004. The drone is capable of firing a missile with one 45 kg warhead. Israeli officials have said that Hezbollah received 12 drones prior to the 2006 war, and that Israeli planes have downed three of the aircraft.
Defensive Missiles Reportedly Possessed by Hezbollah:
Large ground-fired anti-aircraft missile of Russian origin that uses command guidance. The weapon system has the ability to hit high-altitude target with a 200 kg warhead. Hezbollah operatives trained on SA-2s in Syrian territory according to a January 2010 report in the Kuwaiti al Rai newspaper.
Flight ceiling: 20 km
Shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile with infrared homing device. The SA-7 is of Russian origin and is supplied by Syria and Iran.
Flight ceiling: 2.3 km
Amphibious mobile anti-aircraft vehicle with multiple missile launchers that uses radar homing device. The SA-8 is of Russian origin and is supplied by Syria.
Flight ceiling: 12 km
Shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rocket with infrared homing device. The SA-14 is of Russian origin and is supplied by Iran.
Flight ceiling: 2.3 km
Shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rocket with two-color infrared homing device. The SA-16/18 is of Russian origin and is supplied by Iran.
Flight ceiling: 3.5 km
Stationary unit with twin 23mm anti-aircraft guns that can be attached to a trailer. The ZU-23 is of Russian origin.
Effective altitude range: 1.5-2 km
Short-range rockets (regular and extended range Katyushas)
Post-war: around 7,000
Fajr 3: IAF reports that between 24 and 30 launchers and launch vehicles, carrying up to 14 rockets each, were present during the war.
(offensive) Zelzal 3; CS 801; AT-3 Sagger Two; Kornet; either the Mirsad 1 or Ababil T Swallow; Syrian 220mm rocket; Fajr 5; Syrian 302mm rocket; C-802 missile
(defensive) SA-8; SA-14; SA-16
In November 2009, Israeli forces seized a freighter named the Francop allegedly en route from Iran to the Syrian port of Latakia which contained, according to reports, thousands of medium-range 107- and 122-mm rockets (Katyushas), armor-piercing artillery, mortar bombs, hand grenades, and ammunition for Kalashnikov rifles possibly destined for Lebanon for use by Hezbollah.
In October 2009, U.S. Navy personnel found seven containers filled with Kalashnikov ammunition onboard the German cargo ship Hansa India after boarding the vessel in the Suez Canal. The ship, which was on lease to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), was allowed to continue onto Malta where the containers were confiscated. The ship was allegedly en route from Iran to Syria, where the ammunition may have been intended to be transferred to Hezbollah.
In January 2009, U.S. Navy forces boarded the Cypriot-flagged Iranian cargo ship Monchegorsk in the Red Sea for allegedly attempting to transport materiel to Syria in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559. Navy personnel found artillery shells aboard, and escorted the ship to Cyprus, where customs authorities detained the cargo. The ship was under lease to the IRISL.
In May 2007, Turkish authorities seized weapons from a train destined for Syria from Iran after Kurdish militants derailed the train with a bomb. The Dogan news agency reported the weapons included a rocket launch pad and 300 rockets.