The Israeli SPIKE missile family represents the only true “fourth generation” missile currently available on the world market. This family includes the man-portable SPIKE LR, employed from land platforms, on armed helicopters and UAVs, and the heavier SPIKE ER, designed for vehicular, naval and airborne applications. The missile offers today some of the capabilities considered only in other army’s ‘wish lists’.
SPIKE utilizes an Imaging Infrared seeker, with automatic target tracker and special fiber-optical datalink. It is designed for deployment from helicopters in a “fire and forget” or “fire and observe” operating modes, which retain “human-in-the-loop” capability in most firing scenarios. The missile can be linked to the firing platform throughout the flight, enabling a clear view of the target as the missile closes in for the kill. Spike ER uses penetrating blast fragmentation (PBR) warhead to effectively engage targets such as vehicles or buildings.
Another unique Israeli weapon is the Delilah, originally developed as an electro-optical precision guided weapon, capable of loitering over the target area for extended periods of time. Delilah was successfully used during the last Lebanon war. A modified version is currently under development to equip naval helicopters and surface ships. The missile will offer naval task forces a unique, precision attack capability to launch highly accurate attacks against surface and ground targets over ranges of 200 kilometers.
Additional parts of this article:
- Arming Attack Helicopters for Asymmetric Warfare
- Anti-Tank Missiles in Asymmetric Warfare
- Electro-Optically Guided Weapons
- Advantages of Laser Guided Missiles
- Operational limitations of Fire-and-forget Missiles