Rafael Advanced Defence Systems has disclosed development of a new, fifth-generation, enhanced stand-off evolution of its 170 mm Spike-ER multipurpose precision-guided missile system, designated Spike ER2.
The baseline Spike ER round is effectively a scale-up of the legacy 4 km-range Spike LR, with an 8 km fibre-optic data communications link, a larger tandem high-explosive anti-tank high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) and multipurpose blast fragmentation warhead, larger rocket motor, and a higher quality gimballed dual-mode imaging infrared (IR)/charge-coupled device (CCD) seeker assembly. Designed as joint air-to-surface/surface-to-surface capability for rotary, naval, and land platforms (including a tripod-launched capability), Spike ER features fire-and-forget, fire, observe, and update launch options, and fire-and-steer (lock-on-after-launch) engagement modes.
The new Spike ER2 retains the same weight, airframe, surface geometries, and propulsion unit as the Spike ER, but features a significant range enhancement and other capability augmentations.
The introduction of a new real-time lightweight radio frequency (RF) wireless two-way datalink, combined with adjustments to the missile’s software, is designed to optimise the energetics/trajectory of the missile to achieve a stand-off range of 16 km from rotary platforms. “The 8 km fibre-optic datalink was a limitation in the sense that once the fibre-optic spool was expended, the ER became a fire-and-forget missile,” Gal Papier, marketing manager, Precision Tactical Weapons Systems at Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, told Jane’s . “With the new RF datalink we retain the fire-and-observe function, with real-time datalink imagery from the seeker now received from out to 16 km.” Rafael will also offer the ER2 with an extended fibre-optic datalink data naval- and surface-launched applications to engage targets at ranges out to 10 km.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes