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Greece to Buy Spike-NLOS Anti-tank Guided Missile Systems from Israel

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Greece to Buy Spike-NLOS Anti-tank Guided Missile Systems from Israel

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SPIKE Non-Line of Sight missile mounted on a U.S. Army AH-64E Apache helicopter.
SPIKE Non-Line of Sight missile mounted on a U.S. Army AH-64E Apache helicopter.

Negotiations between Greece and Israel for Spike-NLOS anti-tank guided missile systems, addressing the needs of the Hellenic Navy and Air Force, have reportedly reached a critical point. The Greek daily Ekathimerini reported that the permanent director general of the Israeli Ministry of Defense is expected to arrive in Athens early next week in order to finalize or indefinitely defer discussions on the systems, worth around €400 million, that would be installed on Apache helicopters of the Hellenic Air Force, on Navy gunboats and possibly on boats of the Special Forces.

Spike is an Israeli fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead. As of 2007, it is in its fourth generation. It was developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants. he reusable Command & launch unit (CLU), battery, tripod and the thermal sight are common of the Spike missile family, each weighing 5 kg (11 lb), 1 kg (2.2 lb), 2.8 kg (6.2 lb), and 4 kg (8.8 lb) respectively.

Naval Spike NLOS Missile
Rafael Naval Spike NLOS Guided Missile Systems

“Non Line Of Sight” is an ultra long-range version of the weapon, with a claimed maximum range of 25 km (16 mi). It is a significantly larger missile than other Spike variants, with an overall weight of around 70 kg (150 lb). It can be launched from the ground or from helicopters. The first variants entered service with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in tandem with the Pereh missile carrier in 1981, though the existence of both was not revealed to the public until 2011. The Spike NLOS uses a fiber optic link similar to other Spike versions, but only out to 8 km, after which it employs a radio data link for command guidance.

In 2020 the US Army announced its intention to procure Spike NLOS missiles to be mounted on Apache helicopters. A test was conducted in March 2021 where an AH-64E fired a Spike NLOS at a target 32 km (20 mi) away and scored a direct hit. In June 2022, Rafael unveiled the Spike NLOS 6th generation with range increased to 50 kilometres (31 mi), a salvo feature which can launch up to four missiles at a time, and the ability to hand over control after firing to another platform. It also has a Target Image Acquisition capability that can prioritize important targets for strike, and can be carried by strategic UAVs in the Heron-TP-class.

Rafael Fires SPIKE NLOS Missile from Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) in Estonia
Rafael SPIKE NLOS Anti-tank Guided Missile Systems

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