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Monday, April 6, 2009

Hamas turns to Chinese rockets over homemade: 'We need weapons that work'

GAZA CITY — The Hamas regime has elected to deploy Chinese-origin extended-range rockets for attacks against Israel.   

Hamas sources said the military was pleased by the performance of the Chinese variants of the BM-21 Grad rocket. The sources said the rockets demonstrated a far greater range and blast impact than those of their own creation as well as Russian-origin Grads or Katyushas.

"Our main conclusion from the war is that we need weapons that work rather than those we make ourselves," a Hamas commander said. "These [Chinese-origin] rockets work."

The sources said Hamas has increased smuggling of several Chinese-origin rockets. They cited the 107 mm and 122 mm rockets, both of them variants of the Grad.

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The 122 mm rocket, with a warhead of 6.3 kilograms, demonstrated a range of 40 kilometers during the war with Israel. The 107 mm Chinese weapon, with 1.2 kilograms of explosives, reached targets about 22 kilometers away.

The sources said the Chinese rockets were being enhanced to contain as much as 20 kilograms of high-blast TNT. They said this involved reducing the fuel section of the missile.



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