Tuesday, May 24, 2016

HAMAS, Rockets and the future of asymmetrical warfare

HAMAS, Rockets and the future of asymmetrical warfare
- an anxiety provoking discussion that is not going to go away

I post this here as a means of putting this topic out there.  As ye are all men and women with a technical bent and are interested in all manner of things, consider this a gateway into more information and data that you might find handy later for other intellectual pursuits.  Who says that you are not a "rocket scientist" ?  Read on, and prove them all wrong! (usual disclaimers, you assume all risks for application of knowledge).

Next up, read his safety article:  http://www.nakka-rocketry.net/safety.html

The depth of work by the author, Richard Nakka, is impressive.  Graphs, formulae and the like litter his work in great depth.  It is fascinating to see the technical solutions to the issues that crop up.  His inventive, can do spirit is infectious and applicable in principle to many endeavors.  One may derive many solutions to engineering issues, if you follow the spirit of thrift and inventiveness and apply the generals to your specifics.  You can go get lost in it HERE.

Some people who do not adopt such a methodical, scientific methodology also see some technical successes.  What drives the garage rocket jihobbyists of Gaza?  Is it fear of death from actual jihadis?  Are they mere subcontractors?  Eager participants?

From these diagrams and maps, some technical points can be determined about Hamas rocket technology and design.  Take a gander at the Jewish Policy Center for some additional technical details.
The issue of propellant being a mixture of sugar and fertilizer is an interesting point.  It is regarded as the most technical and dangerous phase of the entire process.  From the Nakka website, it is apparent that there are several mixtures of oxidizer and fuel that he developed that are probably similar in concept to the Hamas rockets. The oxidizer/sucrose/dextrose/sorbitol is a hazardous mess! So, why would Hamas use rockets of dubious individual military merit?

Hamas uses such devices en masse to generate a fear reaction in the Israeli population.  They are able to rain them down by the thousands in some janky, Buck Rogers version of Agincourt.  It is a political expression that Israel has some technical ability to counter with the IRON DOME system and probably a few other defensive and early warning systems.
As you can imagine, this is an asymmetric war of cheap, mass produced and employed imperfect weapons of mass anxiety against vastly more complex and expensive defensive systems.  The IRON DOME is credited with an 85-90% effectiveness against HAMAS rockets.  Given that the TAMIR missile has a unit cost figured between 50-90k (USD) each, and the HAMAS rockets at most cost a few hundred dollars (USD), the asymmetry is VAST.  At best, it is about a 250:1 ratio of defense to offense costs.  And that does not figure in the radars and other equipment.  The political cost of NOT putting up a defense like this is incalculable, so Israel is compelled not just out of human decency but by realpolitik to do so.

HAMAS likely has 10,000+ rockets of various capabilities on hand at any given time maintaining a credible threat to the entrenched Israeli state.  It would not surprise me if this method and technology made its way to America and started making life difficult for all and sundry here.  Is it possible that the Palestinian counterparts to Dr. Werner Von Braun of Apollo Program fame have already been imported by the Obama resettlement programs?  I would argue that how is it NOT possible that they are already here?

A real refugee... Dr. Von Braun as the crown jewel of Operation PAPERCLIP

No one inside the Al Qassam Brigades is known to be the primary engineer behind the QASSAM series of rocket.  Here is what their snazzy logo looks like in case you were wondering.  If that EVER combines with something like THIS we will have crossed a Rubicon and burnt all the bridges.  We will be in uncharted territory indeed.  Pray that sanity prevails.

Additional links and resources drawn upon:


You may also wish to read this previously published post, "About those stolen propane tanks" explaining how jihadis repurpose propane tanks into "Hell Cannons".

Written by StopShoutingBlog contributor and #FAB50 Blog Award Winner Partyzantski, coolest cat on teh inner webs, retired Mustang, former FID embedded military Advisor, SASO trainer and scenario developer, Electronic Warfare Aviator, PME instructor, certified Force Protection and Anti-terrorism officer and combat seasoned USMC (0202) field grade intelligence officer. When not blogging or maintaining weapons proficiency at the range, he enjoys cat herding and travel to off-the-beaten-track locales. You can follow him on Twitter @Partyzantski  

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David L said...

It 'works' only because the IDF responds with incredible restraint. Try that in another country, let's say Syria, etude neibkrhoods would quickly be rubble.

As it's been pointed out, Gandhi would not have made into history if he was in nazi Germany. The terror rockets only work because Israel's military is civilized

SFC Steven M. Barry USA RET said...

"Iron Dome" is a lie. It simply does not exist without two US Aegis destroyers circling off the coast of a sewer called Israel.

Regardless, assuming red blooded "patriots" could manufacture tactical rockets, what would they do with them? And against whom would those rockets be targeted?


Anonymous said...

To reiterate my point, these rkts are not a positive development. I do not want to see them happen in America. I expressed my puzzlement why they have not, yet... given that the population that makes these have been selectively brought into America.