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Israeli Luz missile

Petrus

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Here is a photo showing launchers of the Luz missile.

[link dead - Admin]

And at http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/missile/rumsfeld/pt2_carus2.htm there is a few sentences on the missile:

The origins of the Israeli ballistic missile program date to several rocket
and missile programs in the late 1950s and the early 1960s. Israel began
development of guided missiles in 1954, and in 1958 Israel's military
research and development establishment, Rafael, tested a land attack
missile known as the Luz. This missile was proposed in ground-to-ground,
air-to-ground, and ship-to-ship versions. The ground-launched version had a
range of about 27 kilometers. The Artillery Corps fielded one battery of
the missiles, although it apparently was not viewed favorably by the army's
leadership. In addition, the ship-launched version entered formal
development, but the program was abandoned and replaced by the system that
came to be known as the Gabriel (developed by Israel Aircraft Industries
with Israel Military Industries producing the rocket motors). Rafael had
problems with the rocket motors, and never resolved the guidance problems.
Do you know more about the Luz missiel? Especially I would be grateful for any info on its specifications.

Best regards,
Piotr
 
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Eagle2009

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Well, according to Missiles of the World, 1980 Michael J.H. Taylor, p. 63..

Luz-1

Air to Surface Missile: In Production

Primary Contractors: Rafael Armament Development Authority and Israel Aircraft Industries
Guidance: Electro-Optic
Launch Weight: Possible 441lbs (200kg)
Range: 50 miles (80km)

This book claims this missile began being developed in 1973, and was soon to be introduced for use by Kfir-C2 and F-4Es. It claims to have "confirmed" this but no images are given. It is intended for use against SAM launchers/vehicles.

Now that weight would suggest a Gabriel-derived origin, but that guidance and intended role and range sound eerily similar to the Popeye missile developed in the 80's (though the Popeye is MUCH larger than these given dimensions).

So we've got some conflicting information here, FAS claims it a predecessor of the Gabriel developed in the late 50's early 60's but according this book it didn't start development more than a decade later and intended solely as an Air to Surface weapon. Now, taking into account Israel's rather clever propaganda about weapons systems in the past (in the 70's there were reports of Israel developing a tank called "Sabra" which was in fact the Merkava, though the Sabra name would be used decades later) and typical 80's misidentification and I'd say the FAS account of the "Luz" is the more accurate one while the account in this book could be the first hint of the Popeye/AGM-142.
 

Pioneer

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Wow, I can't say I've heard, let alone seen this missile before!
It's a huge missile!
I'm assuming that it's TEL are modified M3 Halftracks?

I'm interested to learn more!!!!!!


Regards
Pioneer
 

dan_inbox

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Pioneer said:
I'm assuming that it's TEL are modified M3 Halftracks?
In my archives the vehicle is called a Dodge WC-52.
It does definitely look like a WC, but which precise version is hard to tell, with the flatbed sides down.


Dodge WC-52 w Rafael LUZ missiles 1960
 

Marsh

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Hi,
Sorry for resurrecting an old post, but just to confirm, the information given by Petrus is largely correct.
The Lutz (Luz) was developed as a ground to ground missile, but once IAI took over its development from Rafael, it became the precursor of the Gabriel. IAI also developed an air-launched anti-ship version, but it was never brought into service.
There used to be, perhaps still is, an example of the Lutz on display at the Israeli navy museum at Haifa.

Cheers
Marsh
 
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