Anti-tank missile extravagance
During MSPO 2017 Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd presented a new version of its SPIKE ATGM missile which is offered to the Polish Armed Forces, particularly for the newly established Territorial Army; this branch of the Polish military is seeking a modern anti-tank system. According to Rafael, SPIKE LR2 – presented as a 5th-generation multipurpose missile – is the best solution.
SPIKE 2LR2 weighs 12.7kg. It has a wide commonality to previous SPIKE variants and can be launched from any SPIKE launcher. Rafael revealed that SPIKE 2LR has two warhead configurations: a Tandem HEAT warhead configuration, enhancing armor penetration capability by more than 30%, and a new multipurpose blast warhead, which includes controlled fusing (by the gunner) for control of the desired effect.
SPIKE LR 2 has an electro-optical seeker which includes an un-cooled IR sensor and a high-definition color day sensor. The new seeker includes the capabilities of a smart target tracker with AI features (Artificial Intelligence).
Rafael, with 2016 sales of over U$2 billion and an order backlog of U$5.6 billion, announced that SPIKE LR 2 was designed for use against advanced targets with low signature, time-sensitive characteristics. To counter this SPIKE LR 2 includes an embedded IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) for missions of third-party target allocation, allowing the firing of the missile to grid target coordinates, including advanced armor and protection systems. The SPIKE LR 2 is one of the only missiles in the world with an inherent CAPS (Counter-Active Protection System) capability.
At MSPO 2017, Rafael also presented a shoulder-launched, lightweight SPIKE SR (Short Range) version with a declared range of up to 1,500m and a weight of 9.8 kilogrammes. According to the producer, it can engage various targets, including modern MBTs, armored vehicles and bunkers. It was confirmed that Rafael is now integrating a new Penetration Blast Fragmentation (PBF) warhead with delay detonation to the SPIKE SR missile. It will be used to attack hardened structures, including bunkers. Aside from this, in Kielce other members of the SPIKE family were shown, including SPIKE NLOS (up to 30 kg), SPIKE-MR and SPIKE-LR (man-portable variants) as well as SPIKE-ER (for vehicles, helicopters and naval vessels). The SPIKE ER and NLOS variants can also be launched from Rafael’s Typhoon Remote Naval Weapon Station.
Dr. Robert Czulda