Don’t Forget About Rockets

We get wrapped up with threats from drone technology, but ISIS, Hamas, and others have proven small rockets can be powerful asymmetric weapons.

The damage is not always physical either. Hezbollah and Hamas have forced Israel to spend millions of dollars on the Iron Dome anti-rocket system. In addition to the development costs, each engagement costs around $100,000 for the interceptor alone. In contrast, a Hamas Qassam rocket might be around $1000 to $2000, tops. Those economics do not work out, hence left of launch interdiction activities become very important.

In the case below, the rockets are re-purposed weapons, but they do not have to be. The knowledge and materials to build affordable and simple rockets is readily available in the West. Bodies can be bought from the internet or made from plastic pipe or even paper shipping tubes. Meanwhile, there are many propulsion options, from ready-to-fly high power composite rocket motors to DIY sugar rockets. Reliable warhead and fuzes will probably offer the most significant challenges to a builder.

Also, thanks in part to drone technology, the electronics and computing power needed to make these weapons guided is already here. We have come across several amateur rocket stabilization projects which could be transformed into a video or satellite guided weapon. Now, we are not talking about military-grade guidance, but guidance good enough to increase the single shot accuracy (i.e. putting the missile in a facility vs. the parking lot or an empty field). This is great for remote control launches or shoot and scoot operations where I do not want to be burdened with adjusting the launcher between rounds to improve accuracy.

So, for those concerned about drones, add small rockets to your list as well. Sorry.  

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