SPIKE, C-DOME and TROPHY all Prominent on Display
Building on its reputation as a supplier of air-launched weapons, reconnaissance and targeting solutions to the Latin American market, Rafael took the opportunity of FIDAE 2018 to showcase the new SPIKE LR2, the latest version of the long-range multi-purpose missile, Santiago Rivas reports for MONCh from Santiago.
SPIKE is currently operational in Chile, Colombia and Peru: the latest variant has a new guidance system and features a lower all-up weight, making it suitable for deployment on light helicopters. The company’s General Manager for Latin America, Eyal Ben Zion, highlighted the successful integration of SPIKE onto Colombian ARPIA (BLACK HAWK) helicopters, making them among the most powerful attack helicopters in the region. A significant advantage is the ARPIA’s ability to operate with all three SPIKE variants (MR/LR, ER and LOS) simultaneously. The region has a healthy and fast-developing demand for this type of capability against vehicles, ground structures and vessels.
PYTHON 5 and DERBY, also currently operational in Latin America, were on display among the range of air-launched weapons, as were the SPICE family of gliding bombs (including the new 250lbs variant), the RECCELITE and LITENING reconnaissance/targeting pods and the SKY SHIELD ECM pod.
The company also highlighted the capabilities of C-DOME, the maritime version of the IRON DOME active protection system. Capable of defending a naval force not only against aircraft, but also missiles, rockets and other minor threats with a low-cost system with a small footprint, fitting most of the warships in use in the region, the C-DOME philosophy is to use small, affordable missiles to destroy the threat after launch, rather than larger, more expensive countermeasures to take out the launch platform.
On the ground, Rafael showed the TROPHY active defence system, which detects and destroys an anti-tank rocket or missile before it strikes the target vehicle. Another innovative solution exhibited at FIDAE was the VISION MAP, a digital camera of only 48kg for photo survey, which can move up to 110º to increase the width of each pass, making it possible to survey a 7km wide strip at 10cm resolution flying at 10,000 feet. The system includes mosaicing software and can make a produce relief terrain models.