Rafael is calling the latest version of the Spike air- and ground-launched weapon a “fifth-generation missile,” as it reports a big new order from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). More than 1,000 Spike LR 2 electro-optically guided missiles are being acquired by the IDF. According to Rafael, more than 26 countries have bought earlier versions of Spike.
The Spike LR 2 design is based on lessons learned from modern warfare, combined with accumulated data from more than 5,000 missiles fired in combat and training across its large user base, according to Rafael. It has a range of 5.5 km when fired from ground launchers (an increase of more than 35 percent from the 4-km range of the original missile), and up to 10 km when fired from a helicopter (using the RF data link).
The LR 2 incorporates improvements in lethality and immunity to meet both present and future threats. The production order for the IDF ensures that both it and future export customers will be assured technical maturity, low risk and readiness for operations, according to Rafael.
The company says that the LR 2 can be fully integrated with all the existing types of Spike launchers in use today.