Bloody Irony! Hezbollah Uses Israeli-Origin Missile To ‘Knock Out’ Iron Dome; Know About Almas ATGM

After Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah claimed the destruction of Israel’s revered ‘Iron Dome,’ we now know which missile was used to knock out the Israeli air defense system.

Hezbollah claimed on June 5 that it struck an Iron Dome air defense system launcher near the Ramot Naftali, or what Hezbollah refers to as the “northern occupied Palestine.”

The claims were supported by a video from the group showing a guided missile hitting the launcher.

On June 6, social media was flooded with photos of a destroyed Iron Dome battery, along with information that it was obliterated by the Iran-origin Almas missile. This missile could have been supplied by Tehran to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia group.

In the photograph (below) that has been published on social media, the Iron Dome battery appears to have incurred significant damage. Several military bloggers, dedicated open source intelligence accounts on X, and war trackers confirmed that Hezbollah used the ‘Almas-3’ ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) to carry out the attack.

Ironically, the Almas missile is based on Israel’s famous ‘Spike ATGM.’

Israel’s Iron Dome allegedly photographed after a Hezbollah strike (Via Platform X)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have not acknowledged the destruction till the time of filing this report. Several prominent pro-Israeli military bloggers said that the system in question could have been a decoy.

Some others noted that the system may not have been activated since there were no secondary explosions, which would have been the case had the launcher been fitted with Tamir interceptors. EurAsian Times could not independently verify the claims.

A Middle East-based veteran correspondent, Elijah J. Magnier, wrote on X: “Hezbollah has access to firepower and is not conserving its ammunition against Israel in support of Gaza. The message is clear: stop the war on Gaza, and the Lebanese front will stop immediately.”

Some pro-Iranian netizens, opposed to Israel, expressed their jubilation by emphasizing the capability of Iranian weapons — from “shared to Almas.” The Almas is believed to be an Iranian-made copy of Israel’s Spike anti-tank loitering weapon, produced by Rafael.

As per claims, the missile has been created by reverse engineering the Spike missiles that Hezbollah captured during the 2006 war with Israel and then brought back to Iran for use. Hezbollah is alleged to be supplied by Iran and has been using a host of Iranian weapons to attack Israel since October last year.

The video published by Hezbollah of the attack on the Iron Dome shows the launcher sitting in a barrack with the Almas fast approaching. The munition then dives unaffected in the direction of the launcher.

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This is not the first time that the Almas have been used against Israel. Hezbollah’s initial footage of using the Almas was captured during a strike on an Israeli intelligence installation perched on a cliff in January.  At the time, a video showed a missile being fired, climbing swiftly, and then heading toward an Israeli monitoring post perched on a cliff near the Lebanon border.

With the help of its man-in-the-loop control system, the Almas can precisely launch indirect attacks over a short distance by flying quickly in the direction of its target. For Israeli military and border infrastructure, this poses a serious threat because the Iranian-origin missiles that have been reverse-engineered from Israeli missiles have been hailed for their cutting-edge precision over the years.

The Spike has been used by the IDF in combat on multiple occasions and with a fairly high degree of success. This reputation makes Spike’s presence and possession of Almas with Hezbollah even more dramatic, especially in the wake of the looming risk of escalation.

File Image: Iron Dome

Almas Is Based On Spike And Is Its Nemesis

The Almas, which means Diamond in Persian, is an anti-tank guided missile manufactured by Iran and delivered to Hezbollah. It is another high-precision weapon in the hands of Iran and is symbolic of the strong nexus between Iran and the militias operating out of Lebanon.

A robust and sophisticated Iranian missile technology infrastructure underpins the Almas, a major technological and engineering enhancement for the Iranian defense sector.

According to publicly available information, the missile has a range of about eight kilometers and carries a tandem warhead. The front warhead is located just behind the homing head in the missile’s nose.

The Spike series, which dates back several decades, was revolutionary when it initially came out because the missiles enabled first-person control while in the air for the man-in-the-loop. This implies that they might also be fired, fly in the direction of a target, and then lock on to that target (launch-to-lock-on). This allows the missile to hit targets not even in its line of sight.

Almas Missile (via X)

This technology has opened up new tactical opportunities, such as pinpointing a target’s location after launch and homing in on concealed targets. It is even possible for the missile to be redirected mid-flight to another target. However, the Almas missile possessing the same capability is not good news for Israel.

Hezbollah’s Kornet and TOW missiles were not equipped with the capabilities of the Israeli-made Spike missiles and, by extension, of the Almas. Since its unveiling in 2021, Almas has been produced in forms that may be launched by ground/surface vehicles, aircraft, and men.

It should not be shocking that Hezbollah has these weapons because Iran has given the terrorist organization based in Lebanon enormous amounts of sophisticated missiles and rockets.

Iran’s capacity to copy Western ammunition is not new. It has copied many kinds of missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other weaponry that it has acquired. A reasonably sophisticated state like Iran has repeatedly demonstrated its effective improvisational skills by replicating these systems very close to the original.