The United States has already approved the sale of the M-26 rockets, but the weapons had not been delivered when the Lebanon crisis erupted. Israel needs the rockets now, officials said, because it has been unable to suppress Hizbollah's Katyusha rocket attacks by using bombs dropped from aircraft and other types of artillery.
The shipment might be approved along with a directive to Israel that it must be especially careful about firing the rockets into populated areas, a senior official told the paper.
We're talking cluster munitions here. Each of these missiles deploys 644 fragmentation charges, about the equivalent of a frag grenade each. Total devastation area per missile is slightly less than a quarter of a kilometer square. That's about four city blocks.
Six hundred and forty-four of these bad boys come from each missile; each "submunition" is a little larger than a D size battery.
(More on the system here)
Now consider that these missiles are fired in tube-launch batches up to twelve at a time from a single vehicle:
M26 shells are usually fired, up to 12 at a time, from a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) on the ground, and can travel up to 20 miles. Each shell contains 644 M-77 munitions. On average, anywhere from 5 to 16 percent of the bomblets are duds that don't detonate, leaving perhaps 100 deadly devices lying around from every shell fired. The high number of deaths and injuries from the shells are predictable when they are fired into populated neighborhoods, as they often were in Iraq.
It is likely that Israel will get the rockets, but will be told to "be careful."
The (state department) report noted that the Bush administration has backed Israel's offensive against Hizbollah by rushing arms shipments to the region, including a shipment of precision-guided munitions that one official said included at least 25 of the 5,000 pound "bunker buster" bombs.
Note: these Bunker Busters are non-nuclear devices. Wanna see one in action?
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As seen on Break.com
That's about 15-18 feet of concrete.