HomeMILITARYDelilah: Elbit Systems' versatile cruise missile

Delilah: Elbit Systems’ versatile cruise missile


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Israel’s arms industry has big portfolio of highly capable weapon systems. One of them is Elbit Systems’ Delilah cruise missile. Delilah’s development started in the 1980-90s as a decoy meant for SEAD/DEAD operations and the developed. In the mid-90s Delilah became operational with IAF on its F-16s and F-4s.

Delilah’s capabilities

Delilah is a stand-off cruise missile with a range of 250 kilometers and simultaneously has the ability to loiter over the target’s area, in the same way as loitering munition.

Delilah: Elbit Systems' versatile cruise missile
Photo By KGyST – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11766754

It is equipped with Imagining Infrared Electrooptical (IIR E/O) seeker enabling man-in-the-loop mode, allowing the user to control the missile through the terminal phase of the engagement. Delilah is also capable of guiding itself automatically using GPS and INS.

Delilah is suitable for performing precision strikes as it has a CEP of about 1 meter, this is also applies to moving targets while also being to cancel its attack, go-arround and re-attack the target from an optimal angle. This aspect also minimizes the probability of collateral damage

Technical information and abilities from Elbit

  • Range: Up to 250 km
  • Guidance: Autonomous GPS/INS
  • Advanced electro-optical seeker
  • Advanced avionics
  • Turbo-jet engine for long-range and adaptive flight profile
  • Real-time video imagery (Man-in-the-Loop) for selectable hit point
  • Cruise speed: Mach 0.5 – 0.7 (Dive: Mach 0.85)
  • Long-range, loitering air-to-surface precision-strike missile
  • Flexible mission profile
  • Go-around and re-attack capabilities
  • Multi-platform launch versatility
  • Operable in littoral waters and open sea
  • Day/night, all-weather operational capabilities

Delilah’s versions

In its air-to-suraface variant it can equip slow-flying turboprop planes as well as fighter planes, like the F-16s and F-4s mentioned above. Delilah is also able to equip helicopters, like the UH-60 Black Hawk or the S-70/MH-60 Sea Hawk, as well as surface/land platforms like ships and on Elbit’s PULS MLRS.

It must be stated that the helicopter and surface variants both achieve the same operational range as the air-to-surface variant with the use of a booster.

Delilah: Elbit Systems' versatile cruise missile
Photo By Natan Flayer – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7401032

Battle proven

During its service with the IAF has been used in strikes against Syrian and Iranian targets. It has been reported to have successfully destroyed a wide array of targets, including SA-2 Dvina, SA-5 S-200 and SA-22 Pantsir.

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