Israel’s Rafael has demonstrated a new multi-missile launcher design for its Spike NLOS (non-line of sight) missile, a long- range variant of the Spike LR the Australian Army is acquiring.
Rafael developed this launcher for Poland’s Ottokar-Brzoza program, formerly called Tank Destroyer, which aims to enhance the capability to defeat a massed tank attack.
Each launcher can load eight missiles. “With a standoff range of 32 kilometres, Spike NLOS is the longest range variant of the Spike Family, featuring all-weather performance, enabling the weapon to effectively prosecute enemy tank formations,” a Rafael release reads.
The new Spike NLOS launcher is based on a stand-alone multi-purpose launcher which can be integrated onto current or future Polish platforms such as the BWP-1 – Poland’s version of the familiar BMP – the eight-wheeled KTO ROSOMAK, or the Future Borsuk infantry fighting vehicle. The launcher is also fully compatible with other Spike LR and LR2 missiles in Polish service.
The Australian Army has chosen Spike LR2 to equip the new LAND 400 Phase 2 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles, and also as the new infantry Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon. These missiles will eventually be built in Australia under a joint venture with Varley.
The Spike family of missiles is in service with 33 defence forces around the world. NLOS is the big brother of the family, weighing in at 71 kilograms versus just 13 kilograms for LR2.
Both use an advanced electro-optical seeker with capability for fire and forget or for the operator to acquire target after launch. Unlike LR2 which uses a trailing fibre optic cable as its datalink, NLOS uses a radio link.
NLOS can also be launched from helicopters and, in January, the US Army chose this missile as an interim long-range capability for its Apache fleet. NLOS has around triple the range of the in-service Hellfire.
The mid-range Spike ER has already been integrated on Spanish army Tiger helicopters, which means the Israeli missiles could be adapted to Australia’s Tiger ARH helicopters.