The Samson 30 remote controlled weapon station fires a Spike-LR missile. (Rafael)
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TEL AVIV — Rafael, Israel’s premier provider of tactical missiles, is expanding its niche in training and simulation with Spike Team Trainer (STT), a system designed to support international users of the firm’s Spike family of precision strike weapons.
First fielded at Israel’s Infantry School in 2010, the STT is now being used by five nations for a spectrum of Spike-based training programs from the level of platoon down to single gunners, executives here said.
Ran Kaplan, marketing manager for Rafael’s Tactical Precision Weapons Systems Directorate, said about 20 nations operate versions of the firm’s Spike precision-strike missiles, including Chile, Finland, Germany, Holland, India, Italy and Poland.
Initially developed as an anti-tank weapon for infantry, Rafael’s family of Spike extended-range, long-range and non-line-of-sight missiles and their various warheads are used against multiple fixed or moving targets at ranges up to 25 kilometers.
STT, a Rafael executive here said, hones readiness and maximizes the inherent “one-shot, one-kill” capabilities of the electro-optical guided weapon.
“One of the important tactical principles when deployed for anti-tank and reconnaissance operations is fire control and coordination. Our STT simulates fluid battlefield conditions, allowing Spike combat teams to augment proficiencies across the full operational sequence … from deployment, target acquisition and engagement, repositioning and battle damage assessment,” said the manager of Rafael’s Spike trainer program.
According to the executive, STT provides training from single gunners to separate, yet simultaneous deployment of multiple Spike combat teams.
For simultaneous team training, each Spike section is situated in separate training rooms to simulate the operational environment in which they deploy separately, yet are required to maintain mutual dependence and coordination.
Under the STT concept, simulated and interactively changing battlefield conditions involving enemy formations and other targets are transmitted into the gunner’s command launch unit as well as the commander’s binoculars.
Each Spike section sees the same picture from its particular point of view projected onto a wide panoramic screen, and the system allows section commanders to communicate via tactical headset.
According to Rafael marketing data, the STT features advanced audio and video debriefing and generates statistical reports about trainees.
“Coordination is essential for maximizing terrain coverage, distributing targets and alternating fire. ... And in times when budgets are decreasing, the need for low-cost, simulated team training increases,” he said. ■