Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announces development of a new 5th generation extended range, enhanced stand-off evolution of its 170 mm Spike-ER multipurpose precision-guided missile system, designated Spike ER2. The new ER2 variant enhances the range, agility, and target acquisition capabilities of the Spike-ER, enabling vehicles, boats and, particularly helicopters, to engage targets from longer stand-off ranges utilizing third-party targeting techniques (such as UAVs) previously unavailable for such tactical weapons. The new missile features a number of new capabilities, and a combination of greater standoff range of up to 10 km for surface launch, NLOS engagement capabilities (launch to grid coordinate), 16 km when fired from a helicopter. The company is designating the SPIKE ER2 for the German Tiger Program.
The SPIKE ER2 includes a new real-time lightweight radio frequency (RF) wireless two-way datalink variant combined with adjustments to the missile’s software to maximize the missile’s energetics/trajectory range for enhanced stand-off launch from rotary platforms, enabling its 16-km range. The 8 km fibre-optic datalink was a limitation in the sense that once the fibre-optic spool was expended, the ER became a fire-and-forget missile. It also contains an advanced seeker with high-resolution IR and day sensors for extended range target acquisition, and a multispectral target tracker, enabling sensory data fusion. In addition, SPIKE ER2 has network connectivity and Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) engagement capabilities, including an embedded IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) for missions of third-party target allocation, allowing the firing of the missile to NLOS grid target coordinates.
The new ER2 retains the same weight, airframe, surface geometries, and propulsion unit as the Spike ER, but features a significant range enhancement and other capability augmentations. The built-in compatibility of the SPIKE ER2 to the existing launcher will essentially enable a plug-and-play solution with no risk of integration, at a low cost. The missile’s enhanced lethality consists of a combination of very high precision (regardless of the range) and a very high angle of attack and advanced warheads. Its advanced Tandem HEAT warhead has armor penetration capabilities of all known MBT’s and embedded anti-structure capabilities. A Penetration, Blast, and Fragmentation (PBF) warhead (anti-fortification/anti-ship) option is also available.
The SPIKE ER2 is part of the SPIKE Missile family, which has evolved into one of the most combat-proven missiles, integrated to more than 45 platforms, in use by 30 nations, with over 30,000 missiles already supplied and 5000 missiles fired. SPIKE ER2 is an upgrade of the 8-km SPIKE ER (Extended Range) missile, which boasts a vast platform portfolio, including the Spanish Army aviation Tiger helicopter, the Colombian Air Force Blackhawk, the Italian AW129 Mangusta, the Romanian Super Puma helicopter, the Super Cobra, and many different types of ground vehicles and naval vessels. The SPIKE ER2 will also be offered to Polish Army as both a surface-to-surface vehicle-mounted standoff precision-guided missile (PGM), as well as rotary PGM for the upgraded MI24 and Sokol helicopters.