Spike is a new
generation, electro-optical, medium to long range anti-tank missile
developed at the RAFAEL Missile Division Anti-Armor Directorate. Spike can
defeat advanced Main Battle Tanks (MBT) as well as secondary targets such as
buildings and soft-skin vehicles.
The system is based on a common system architecture providing medium, long
and extended long range precision attack capability for infantry, mobile,
airborne and sea-based applications. The Spike family members include:
Spike MR (formerly Gill)
Spike ER (formerly NT-D)
The weapon consists
of the missile in its canister and the firing post comprising a command
launch unit, thermal imager and firing post.
Command and launch unit, imaging
infrared/CCD seekers, and part of the missile electronics are common to all
family members. The powerful tandem warhead, rocket motor and flight control
mechanisms also utilized similar elements, to reduce production cost.
Spike’s high probability of
kill (Pk) of both stationary and moving targets, is achieved by a
sophisticated tracking algorithms and simple but effective guidance
controls. Spike can be employed in two trajectories – in the lofted
trajectory mode, the missile climbs high above the ground and then dives
onto the target. Utilizing the low trajectory, the missile flies close to
ground level and makes a direct attack on the target. This type of attack is
useful especially at close range and in urban terrain. The weapon’s lofted
trajectory is more suitable for attack of armoured vehicles, which are more
vulnerable to top attack. From this position, the target is clearly visible
at the terminal attack phase, and the operator can aim the missile to hit at
the most vulnerable points. The basic operating mode for the Spike is
a “fire and forget”. After firing, the missile automatically guides itself
to the target impact. However, utilizing the fiber-optic communications
link, Spike missile can also get target and guidance updates during the
flight. This capability also enables the gunner to observe the target
throughout the whole flight, as seen through the missile seeker. He can
control the aim point during flight, thus ensuring the target is hit at its
most vulnerable spot, which may not have been visible from the firing
position. The fibre-optic data link also provides man-in-the-loop control
all the way to target impact, hence permitting Spike to be used in
operations which are subject to tough Rules of Engagement.
Rafael offers a complete
Integrated Logistics Support package including training. The gunners’
training program utilizes the Spike gunnery simulator, covers all skills
necessary to operate the weapon at full combat efficiency, thus minimizing
the need for training firings and.
Spike is currently
operational with the armies of: Israel, Singapore, Netherlands and Finland.
The missile was selected as the future anti-tank missile for
Poland, and is currently competing
for the replacement of Milan with the British Army.