The Israeli Ministry of Defense has announced on Wednesday December 12, 2018, the successful test-fired of Spike anti-tank missile system mounted on the latest generation of IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) tracked armored NAMER. The system will be mounted on the turrets of Eitan wheeled armored vehicle and Namer tracked IFV. The firing test video released by the Ministry of Defense shows that the NAMER IFV is armed with two launchers of Spike anti-tank missile located at the rear of the roof turret. In road position, the missiles are stored inside the armour of the turret and erected in a few seconds to perform firing operations by the crew from inside of the vehicle.
Namer, means “leopard” and also a syllabic abbreviation of “Nagmash” (APC) and “Merkava” is an Israeli armoured personnel carrier based on a Merkava Mark IV tank chassis. Namer was developed by and is being assembled by the Israeli Ordnance Corps. They are more heavily armored than the Merkava IV tanks and the most heavily armored vehicle in the world of any type. The new Namer, with its gun and missile-equipped turret, is more along the lines of an infantry fighting vehicle, meaning the infantry can fight from inside the vehicle if necessary. The heavier 30-millimeter gun means the vehicle can take the offensive, blasting targets behind cover in buildings and engaging armored vehicles. The Namer reinforced by the Israeli-made Trophy anti-missile active protection system.
The new turret includes an elevated missile launcher capable of launching two Spike MR anti-tank guided missiles, giving Namer the ability to destroy tanks. The SPIKE-MR (Gill) is a lightweight, man-portable, Fire and Forget, multi-purpose missile system with a range of up to 2,500 meters. Its Fire and Forget operational mode guarantees maximum gunner survivability and high hit probability. The SPIKE-MR has an optional Fire, Observe and Update mode of operation for the modern, multi-faceted battle. The SPIKE-MR is one of the most advanced missiles in the world, and was developed by the Rafael arms industry in cooperation with the IDF during the 1990’s.
A defense ministry spokesperson stated the installation “will enable Israel Defense Forces soldiers to fire missiles from within the vehicles, while they are still protected, which will significantly increase the attack range of the vehicles”. The ministry said the test-firing of the missile was just the first stage of tests for the system. It did not give an estimate of when it will be operational. According to a report of the Israeli Defense Ministry, the the Spike anti-tank missiles currently serve as a primary anti-tank weapon system in 30 militaries worldwide, with more than 30,000 missiles delivered to date. Spike is an electro-optically guided missile offering a “Fire-and-Forget” and “Fire-and-Observe” capabilities.