The IDF has acknowledged for the first time the existence of a specialized, anti-tank guided missile labeled as the Tamuz, which has reportedly been in operational service with Israel's artillery corps since the early 1980s.
The missile is elecro-optically guided right up until the final point of impact, with a range of up to 25-km. The Tamuz was originally developed by Israel's Rafael Armaments Development Authority as an outgrowth of the Agranat Commission of Inquiry into the Yom Kippur War. The missile has evolved over the years, as has its intended targets. Although originally intended to target opposing armored formations, it has since been shifted to targeting outposts of Hezbollah and Hamas, resulting in a shift to a smaller warhead to minimize collateral damage.
Some 600 Tamuz missiles were reportedly fired during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. At a cost of NIS 500,000 per missile, this was later deemed to be an excessively expensive response, leading to new rules of engagement aimed at better assigning targets to the appropriate weaponry. The weapon was later used more sparingly in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.