Hezbollah launches advanced anti-tank missile attack on Israel: the growing threat of 'Almas'
The Lebanese Hezbollah is among the top trained and equipped groups that carry out attacks on Israel. It has an estimated strength of about 20,000 active fighters and twice that number in reservists, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Hezbollah, being a critical political and social organization that bears significant influence on the unstable government in Lebanon, commands territories where it has been bolstering its capabilities for many years. Hezbollah boasts a substantial arsenal of barrel and rocket artillery, including ballistic missiles.
In terms of handheld anti-tank weapons, Hezbollah has more than just RPG-7 anti-tank launchers; they also have more advanced solutions at their disposal. These include the single and double launchers of Iranian ATGMs "Thar Allah," copies of the Russian 9M133-1 Kornet-E, and the even more notable "Almas." The latter was used by Hezbollah in an attack on an Israeli outpost at the Lebanon border, as shown in the video below.
"Almas" - an Iranian "diamond" mirroring the Israeli Spike
The ATGM "Almas", which translates to "diamond" in Iranian, represents their latest anti-tank solution. Its first field tests only got leaked in 2020. This implies that Hezbollah has received a weapon that has only reached mass production within the past few years.
"Almas" is allegedly based on the captured Israeli ATGM Spike-LR (also used by the Polish Army). This was reverse-engineered and then manufactured in Iran using locally available components. Consequently, Iran now possesses a state-of-the-art "fire and forget" ATGM capable of attacking targets in a dive flight, as evidenced by the footage of the missile's warhead. This showcases the ATGM's ability to relay the image from the daylight camera back to the launch station.
The assumption is that similar to its Israeli forerunner; it features an infrared warhead that can detect the thermal image of the target. This is an advanced technology, most likely sourced from China, which uses such warheads in its air-to-air PL-10 missiles. It is believed that the finished warheads or their critical parts, such as FPA matrices (Focal Plane Array), are delivered to Iran for constructing Shahed drones.
"Almas" may also provide manual guidance via a fiber optic cable. The range of capabilities of the warhead, however, remains a secret. But if the size of the Iranian version closely resembles the original, it's probably safe to speak of a range of up to 2.5 miles. The warhead is certainly tandem and could serve as a significant threat to Israeli vehicles lacking the active protection system Trophy.