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Air-Launched Weapons

US AROC approves Spike NLOS acquisition

14 January 2020
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An IDF AH-64D Apache combat helicopter with Spike NLOS mounted on a generic Spike launcher on the outer wing stub (pictured right). The US Army Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) has approved the acquisition of an undisclosed number of Spike NLOS missiles to equip the service’s AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters. Source: Israel Defense Force

The US Army Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) has approved the acquisition of an undisclosed number of Rafael Advanced Defence System Spike NLOS (non-line-of-sight) air-to-surface missiles (ASMs) to equip the service’s AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters with a stand-off ASM capability for multi-domain operations (MDO).

Spike NLOS is a multipurpose, multi-platform precision guided missile system equipped with a dual-mode electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) seeker and a real-time encrypted radio frequency (RF) two-way datalink. With a stated maximum range of 30 km, the missile can be equipped with three warhead options: tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), penetrating blast fragmentation (PBF), and fragmentation.

The AROC decision follows a series of tests by US Army combat helicopter personnel in 2019 to evaluate the suitability of the missile for MDO: an evolving joint force concept intended to address the challenge of how to ‘militarily compete, penetrate, disintegrate, and exploit’ adversarial layered stand-off capabilities.

In July 2019 US Army personnel conducted a series of four of Spike NLOS tests in the Negev desert from an Israel Defense Force (IDF) AH-64D platform. In August 2019 the US Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Cross-Functional Team (CFT) hosted a firing demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, to determine if the Spike NLOS could be operated from US combat helicopters. During that demonstration five Spike NLOS missiles were fired from a Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopter.

Conducted in response to an army validated operational needs statements, the demonstration was designed to identify “capabilities supporting the Future Vertical Lift [FVL] ecosystem”, the Army FVL CFT said in a statement to Jane’s.. “The demo will determine whether Spike can be fired from a US aircraft and inform future munition and [air-launched effects] requirements for multi-domain operations,”

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