Manufacturer: RAFAEL / Eurospike
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:
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.