HAIFA, Israel — Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems recently concluded first export deliveries of its Spike SR (Short Range), a shoulder-launched, fire-and-forget anti-tank missile designed for precision strikes against fixed and moving targets.
The newest member of Rafael's air-, sea- and ground-launched family of electro-optical missiles, Spike SR is designed to respond rapidly against so-called targets of opportunity, whether they are tanks and fast-travelling vehicles or bunkers, according to executives at the company's Israeli headquarters.
Known in Hebrew as TACT — an acronym that translates into Short Range Personal Missile — Spike SR is can be equipped with two warheads, one for moving targets and the other a blast fragmentation penetrator against bunkers.
Designed for use by infantry in congested urban environments, Spike ER has an effective range from 50 meters to 1.5 kilometers, executives said.
"It's a new generation. It's not a guided rocket and certainly not a bazooka. It's the first time users can bring fire and forget missile capability down to the tactical level," said Aviram Levy, senior marketing director at Rafael's Precision Tactical Weapon Systems Directorate, part of the firm's Land and Naval Division.
"Our challenge was to take a very short, small-diameter missile, augment its penetration capability and make it versatile enough to hit from only 50 meters to up to 1.5 kilometers away. And then we had to wrap it all in a package that is very simple to operate," Levy said.
In May, Rafael concluded deliveries of Spike SR to its first export customer, executives said.
"The last batch of missiles to one foreign customer has already been delivered," Levy told Defense News.
He declined to identify the customer due to the firm's longstanding policy of discretion in defense trade.
Rafael is featuring Spike SR and all members of the Spike family among its many offerings at this week's Eurosatory exhibition in Paris.
Opall-Rome is Israel bureau chief for Defense News. She has been covering U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation, Mideast security and missile defense since May 1988. She lives north of Tel Aviv. Visit her website at www.opall-rome.com.