The Shayetet fighters which raided the KLOS-C transport ship in the early morning hours of Wednesday discovered dozens of M-302 missiles in the cargo bay below.
The M-302 has a range of 200 km (125 mi), and the missile is similar to those launched at Israel eight years ago during the Second Lebanon War.
The IDF emphasized that such missiles have significantly greater capabilities than those used previously by the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip.
Syrian-made M-302 onboard the Klos C (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Operational range of M-302 (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The weapon is a surface-to-surface missile of Syrian manufacture, first developed in the 90's. According to the IDF, the primary users of this missile type are the Syrian Army and Hezbollah - both in Syria and in Lebanon. Since its development, the M-302 has undergone a number of upgrades and now comes in five variations:
The A model is the basic production of the missile. It has a range of 90 km if launched from sea level, and 100 km if launched from an altitude of 1,000 m or more. The rocket is capable of carrying a 170 kg warhead.
The B model is a missile with a 100 km range when launched at sea level, and as high as 115 km when launched from an altitude of one kilometer. The warhead for the B variety can carry a payload of 175 kg.
The C model is a missile with a 140 km range when launched at sea level, and as high as 160 km when launched from a high altitude. The warhead for the C variety can carry a payload of 140 kg.
The D model is a missile with a 160 km range when launched at sea level, and as high as 180 km when launched from a high altitude. The warhead for the D variety can carry a payload of 144 kg.
The E model is the most advanced missile, that has a range of up to 200 km when launched at sea level, and as high as 215 km when launched from an altitude of 1,000 m. The new model's warhead can carry a payload of 125 kg.
M-302 missiles in action
The A and B varieties are the type of rockets used by Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War. In August of 2006, Hezbollah launched 302 mm rockets named Khyber-1 which exploded deep inside Israel. This missile type was used to target the strategic port of Haifa during the war.
The IDF boarded the Iranian ship without resistance, and there were no casualties in the open waters mission.
The raid was executed after several days of tracking the suspected ship. IDF Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz commanded the operation from the General Staff center while Navy chief Ram Rotberg was at the forward command post on a missile destroyer in open waters.
Hundreds of soldiers from the Israeli Navy participated in the operation, which boarded and commandeered the vessel 1,500 km south of Israel's Red Sea shores.