Designed for infantry-level use; of particular interest to SOF
Rafael has revealed the newest member of its SPIKE missile family to South America, which it claims is the most tactical anti-tank missile on the market. The SPIKE SR (short-range) is suited to use against targets that include reactive armour, and is able to operate over a 1.5km range.
“We were looking to combine all the latest technology to have as small and light a possible a missile, but with the capability of a larger system,” a Rafael representative told Monch at the LAAD exhibition.
It was demonstrated in Israel for the first time at the end of 2016, during which some 16 nations witnessed the firing tests. It is also operational with an undisclosed customer, the spokesperson said.
The shoulder-launched system is 9.8kg, which is some 2.5 times lighter than other small anti-tank missiles, according to Rafael. It does not require a traditional launcher, meaning that the logistical footprint of the deployment is reduced.
SPIKE SR is designed for infantry-level use, which is a break-away from the traditional deployment of this type of missile that typically lies with higher echelons of command.
A battalion-level anti-tank system would require a launcher, but would operate out to 4km, the spokesperson said.
During operation, a day/night camera integrated into SPIKE SR locks on the target, and a fire and forget mission then plays out. Because of the ease of use and lack of launcher, training on the system can be carried out in 15 min, the company says.
It is of particular interest to Special Forces and marines, the spokesperson said, and benefits from being able to be submerged in water down to one metre. “It it gets some water on it, it’s not a problem,” the spokesperson said, adding that the system can be stored for up to ten years before use.