The General Dynamics “Keres” (Hebrew for hook) missile is a land based Target Anti-Radiation weapon system which was developed by the United States , according to Israeli Air Force requirements, as part of the Yom-Kippur war's lessons.

Keres uses the same air frame as the Egrof Segoal (Purple Punch), which in turn is the same as the US operated AGM-78 Standard missile but is optimized for land based operations. The Egrof Segoal is operated by the Israeli Air Defense Corps as part of the armament of the Mc Donnel Douglas Kurnass 2000. The Keres was the replacement for the Kilshon (trident), which in effect was an AGM-45 Shrike missile with a second stage booster added. The Kilshon was launched from a frame, mounted on top of a turret less M4A1 tank hull.

According to reports, the Keres missile was first mounted on the same tank hulls as the Kilshon, but due to phasing out of this vehicle, it was later fitted to the flat beds of M809A1 trucks. Due to the retirement of the Sherman platforms, the Keres was eventually mounted on a standard M809 5 ton trucks.

The missile works on an electro-magnetic sensitive guidance system which enables it to hit various radio or radar wave emissioning targets such as radar stations, SAM (Surface to Air) batteries, radar guided guns and air defense and artillery radars. It can do so by locking on targets while flying, after being launched.

The Keres covered all then current SAM batteries threats among the battle theatre, including the most modern and sophisticated ones.

One of the improvements that have been put into the Keres was equipping it with the Shrake missile's improved warhead – a fact that enables it to hit wide-frequency targets.

History and Testing

Even before the war, the Keres was being tested in an Israeli air force test-field. Until that experiment, only 5 missiles had been previously shot in the US . The goal of the experiment was to collect data on the launch, flight and homing of the missile. Special testing crews operated 14 special cameras which followed the whole experiment. They also received telemetric data of the missile's flight characteristics. The test was hailed with great success; the front and rear caps of the missile opened at time as well as the small canards, and the missile went out of the cases right at time. The missile then locked on the target, and destroyed it with an accurate hit.

In Action

After the missile is fed with target coordinates, the operator provides the system with certain data . The missile is then launched, locks on the target and destroys it. The missile's detection range extends to dozens of kilometers.

The Keres, like the Patriot air defense missile, is launched from a sealed container. Each battery is composed of several launchers and a ground control station, which is fed with streaming data to get a coordinated launch action. The launch vehicle is installed with the launch containers side-by-side. Each launching vehicle is installed with electronic systems for datalink communications, which enable the whole launch process. The launch is initiated by an autonomous generator mounted on the truck.

The Keres batteries were very mobile and easy to operate and deploy , and work ed without terrain or weather limitations.

The Kere's first experience in battle was in the Lebanon War (1982) . On June 9th, on a coordinated strike of the Israeli air force fighters on SA-2, SA-3 and SA-6 batteries in south Lebanon , several missiles, armed with high-explosive warheads, were launched upon these targets, and destroyed them at once.

The Keres had been operated for about 20 years by the air defense corps' 153rd battalion, initially from Palmachim AFB and later on from Ramat David AFB until it was finally disbanded in late 90's.

The Harpy lethal “suicide” UAV eventually replaced the Keres missile.