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Colombian Army reveals new Rafael Spike ER anti-tank missiles

The Colombian Army mounted its Rafael Spike ER missile systems on M966 Humvee trucks. (Roberto Jose García Hernandez )

The Colombian Army in February 2023 showcased its Rafael Spike ER anti-tank missile systems for the first time, having quietly purchased them in 2019 and receiving them a year later.

The army revealed the updated systems during a ceremony in Bogotá on 14 February. Military sources told Janes that the service acquired a small batch of three launch units and more than 15 missiles to reinforce defences against armoured threats.

The new missiles are mounted on M966 Humvees operated by the Medium Combined Arms Task Force No 1 (FUTAM), located in La Guajira department near the Venezuelan border.

The Colombian Army, based on strategic reviews and new mobility and manoeuvre warfare tactics for addressing potential external threats, identified a need to increase its anti-tank capability, in part by adding range.

According to documents viewed by Janes, the Colombian Army “understands that it must strengthen the Spike LR anti-tank systems (with a 4 km range) with Spike ER anti-tank missiles (with an 8 km range) to counter possible armoured incursions from neighbouring countries, which have Main Battle Tanks, platforms that currently do not exist in Colombia”.

The documents stated that Spike ER missiles can penetrate the sort of modular armour fitted to “the latest combat vehicles that have been acquired and fielded by other armed forces in the region”.

The Rafael Spike ER missiles were acquired by the Colombian Army partly to standardise its anti-tank systems. For 15 years, the service has operated Spike LR missiles and has the maintenance, operation, and training infrastructure for that system.

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