Eurosatory 2024: Eurospike distributes Rafael's top-of-the-line ATGMs to the continent

Eurosatory 2024: Eurospike distributes Rafael's top-of-the-line ATGMs to the continent
Autor fotografie: Eurospike / Public domain|Popisek: Spike
11 / 06 / 2024, 09:00

Modern portable anti-tank missiles have become one of the differentiating weapons in Ukraine. Europe is aware that it needs to modernise its armed forces because of the danger from Russia. One of the steps is the acquisition of high quality ATGMs.

The tandem cumulative missile, an incantation that resonates through Ukraine. The German RGW 90, the American FGM-148 Javelin, the Ukrainian Stugna-P, the Swedish NLAW. Double blast due to reactive armour and a cumulative energy beam that burns through the composite protection. MBTs have a big problem at the moment, without active protection they can't defend against ATGMs, and then there are the drones, which they have no answer against at all. The future is in active protection, but that is the music of the future in certain segments. Except for the Israeli Trophy system, which can handle modern ATGMs. They're also taking aim at the Leopard 2A8, for example.

Universal Spike

Israel's Spike system from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is a fire-and-forget guided anti-tank and anti-personnel missile. It can be fired from a soldier's shoulder, but also comes in naval and airborne variants. The key is that the target must be within sight of the launcher. So no radar. There are variants that, like the Javelin, can hit the target from above, observe and update style. So the missile is launched and the operator determines the exact target later. The missile is in the air and the sensor sees the top of the armour, which is the most vulnerable. More commonly used on air to air missiles like ASRAMM.


According to Eurospike, the SPIKE SR uses 3rd generation dual electro-optical (day/night) seeker technology in a versatile lightweight multi-purpose missile that can be used by infantry or special forces. State-of-the-art (day/night) seeker technology, including uncooled IIR, high-resolution CCD and optimized tracker, is tailored to meet the needs of infantry forces in a variety of operational and environmental scenarios. A particular advantage of the SPIKE SR is its light weight combined with a short time interval from power-on to operational readiness, making it ideal for targets that are only exposed for a short time.

The weapon is quite widespread. According to Army Technology, it can be found in 38 countries, including a number of European countries, Chile, India and even Singapore. The Israelis confirm that they are the absolute top in the weapons industry. Their close cooperation with the Americans and their own Silicon Valley is bearing steady fruit. The basic missile is the Spike-SR with a range of 50 m to 2 km. The Spike FireFly loitering ammunition is just able to lock on to the target after it is fired. The Spike-MR has a range of 2.5 km, and the fifth generation Spike-ER2 is even capable of hitting up to 16 km, but it needs a data link to do so.

Spike on the AH-64 Apache

The Spike-ER family of missiles was developed for aircraft and helicopters. For example, it is used by the AH-64 Apache of Israel. The key is the two-way optical link, which allows the operator to react in a relevant way on the battlefield. For example, the moment a pilot sees a target on the display, he sends a command to the missile, it immediately engages in a fire-and-forget behavior and destroys the target on its own. The main reason for this feature is that the Israelis know well that an active protection hit is critical for the infantryman and he thus has the opportunity to leave the firing area immediately.

Spike-LRs are also mounted on Marvin ITV-14x4 all-terrain vehicles. The system is called Mantis and consists of six missiles, a Rafael Spike C31 guidance system and reconnaissance sensors, including a CCD day camera, thermal imager, laser rangefinder and GPS. For the infantry, the loaded launcher weighs 14 kilograms, which is not much as the weight of the missile itself is 10 kilograms. The big positive is that the reaction time is only thirty seconds. The system itself has infrared guidance.

Spike-MR has a copy made by Hezbollah, called Almas. The Israelis are using the missile in the current war in Gaza. The Czech Republic also has the Spike missiles, as they are installed on Pandur II combat vehicles of the Czech Armed Forces. Spike is clearly one of the most advanced ATGM missiles and thus there is a clear interest in it, which has been significantly increased by the conflict in Ukraine.


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