skip to main content

Rafael unveils AeroSpike stand-off air-to-surface missile

Rafael is pitching AeroSpike as the SOPGM solution for AFSOC's future ‘Armed Overwatch' platform. (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems)

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has disclosed development of an advanced lightweight stand-off air-to-surface missile specifically designed for use with fixed-wing aircraft.

The new internally funded missile development, designated AeroSpike, is a derivative of the ground-launched Spike LR2 multi-purpose surface-to-surface guided missile system, adapted to the air-launched role by Rafael's Air-to-Surface Directorate.

Intended for use in the first instance with fixed-wing turboprop light-attack and armed reconnaissance platforms, AeroSpike is optimised for day/night all-weather air-to-surface engagements against static or moving targets, including tiered air-defence artillery (ADA) networks, mobile surface-to-air missile systems, armoured land platforms, and urban infrastructure.

Full-scale development of AeroSpike was effectively finalised in 2019, and since then Rafael has been spiralling the capability. Now at Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 9, and in use with several undisclosed customers, AeroSpike is to be officially unveiled at the 2022 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa, Florida, 16–19 May.

“AeroSpike is already a fully mature weapon system, but for a number of reasons, we could not officially unveil it until now,” Gal Papier, vice-president, Business Development, Rafael USA, told Janes . “However, SOFIC is an ideal opportunity for us to formally showcase the weapon. It is purposely designed for the close air support role with the types of mission sets in which special operations forces are engaged. We will submit AeroSpike as a stand-off precision-guided munition [SOPGM] solution for the [US] Air Force Special Operations Command's [AFSOC's] future ‘Armed Overwatch' platform. This [aircraft] programme is currently being competed, and with a winner expected to be downselected in the very near term,” said Papier.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...