Jericho 3

Jericho 3 is a solid-fueled intermediate-range ballistic missile developed and produced by Israel to replace its older Jericho 2 ballistic missiles. It was first tested in 2008, and entered service in 2011. 1

Jericho 3 at a Glance

Originated from: Israel
Possessed by: Israel
Alternate names: YA-4
Class: Intermediate-range Ballistic Missile (IRBM)
Basing: TEL vehicle, silo-based, railcar-based
Length: 15.0-16.0 m
Diameter: 1.56 m
Launch weight: 29,000 kg
Payload: Single warhead
Warhead: HE, nuclear, chemical capable
Propulsion: Three- stage solid propellant
Range: 4,800-6,500 km
Status: Operational
In service: 2011- Present

jericho 3

Jericho 3 Development

Reports suggest that the Jericho 3 missile, also designated the YA-4, was first tested in January 2008 from the Palmachim flight center near Tel Aviv, with a subsequent motor test in February 2008. 2 Another unconfirmed test was also reported in 2011. 3 The Jericho 3 has an increased range from its predecessor. The missile’s entry into service in 2011 likely means that the Jericho 2 missiles will be phased out within the next ten years. 4

Further tests conducted in July 2013 could have been for the Jericho 3 or possibly the Jericho 3A missile, a follow up missile believed to have a new motor. 5

Jericho 3 Specifications

The Jericho 3 is an intermediate-range ballistic missile, although it is is unclear whether it has two- or three- stages. The missile is estimated to be between 15.5-16 m long and have a body diameter of 1.56 m. It has an estimated launch weight of 29,000 kg and payload of 1,000 to 1,300 kg. 6 The missile is reportedly equipped with a 750 kg nuclear warhead with a yield between 150 and 400 kT. 7 It is suspected that there are decoys included in the payload and several independently targeted RVs (if equipped with the smaller nuclear yield). It has a range of 4,800 to 6,500 km and uses inertial guidance with a radar guided warhead. 8

These missiles are currently based in Zacharia, located south-west of Tel Aviv and stationed in underground caves. 9


Sources

  1. James O’Halloran, IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, 2015, (United Kingdom: IHS), 52.
  2. “Jericho III,” Military Today, March, 2017, http://www.military-today.com/missiles/jericho_3.htm.
  3. O’Halloran, 52.
  4. Nuclear Threat Initiative, “Israel,” November 2012, http://www.nti.org/learn/countries/israel/delivery-systems/.
  5. O’Halloran, 53.
  6. Ibid.
  7. O’Halloran, 53.
  8. Nuclear Threat Initiative.
  9. Ibid.
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