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Spike LR

Anti-tank guided missile

Spike LR

The Spike LR was adopted by at least 29 countries, including most members of the NATO

 
 
Country of origin Israel
Entered service ?
Armor penetration more than 700 mm
Range 4 km
Missile length 1.2 m
Missile diameter 0.11 m
Fin span ?
Missile weight 14 kg
CLU weight with tripod and signts ~ 13 kg
Warhead weight ?
Warhead type Tandem HEAT
Guidance Infrared imaging

 

   The Spike LR is an advanced anti-tank guided missile, developed in Israel. It is produced by Raphael. Letters "LR" in the designation stand for "Long Range". It was publicly revealed for the first time in 1997. This missile was known in Israel as NT-Spike, Gomed, or Dandy. However in 2002 it was renamed as the Spike LR. It was designed for use by the infantry and light combat vehicles. It can be also used by watercraft. At the time of its introduction it was one of the most advanced anti-tank guided missiles. The Spike LR was a huge success. It was adopted by at least 29 countries, including most members of the NATO. Since 2004 this missile is license-produced in Germany by Eurospike. The German version has some differences and is being sold in Europe. In 2015 Poland ordered 1 000 Spike LR missiles. These were licensed produced locally by ZM Mesko and were delivered by 2020.

   The Spike LR system includes canisters with missiles, Command Launch Unit (CLU), thermal sight and tripod. This weapon is operated by a crew of 2.

   The Spike LR uses infrared imaging guidance. The missile is similar to the Spike MR, but has an added fiber-optic datalink.  This allows to fire the Spike LR not only in "fire-and-forget", but also in "fire-observe-and-update" mode. The datalink also extended the maximum range of the missile from 2.5 km on the Spike MR to 4 km.

   The missile has an advanced electro-optical seeker and sophisticated tracker. It can be fired in day time and low light conditions. It also has some degree of adverse weather capability. The missile has a high hit probability against stationary and moving targets.

   The Spike LR has a tandem HEAT warhead. It reportedly penetrates more than 700 mm of steel armor behind Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA). In the "fire-and-forget" mode the missile uses a lofted trajectory for impacts on the upper surface of the enemy tank, where its armor is thin.

   In 2014 Rafael announced they had increased the range of the Spike LR to 5 km. This improved missile could be used by existing launchers. Furthermore this improved missile can be carried and launched by helicopters. This eventually resulted into the new generation Spike LR2.

 

Variants

 

   Spike LR2 (Israeli designation Gil-2) is a new generation of the original Spike LR. It is a 5th generation anti-tank guided missile. The new missile and launcher are lighter. However it has increased range and armor penetration. The range increased to 5.5 km. Furthermore when fired from helicopter this missile has a range up to 10 km using a datalink. It has a tandem HEAT warhead which offers 30% increased armor penetration. So it is estimated that the Spike LR II can penetrate more than 900 mm of steel armor behind explosive reactive armor. This missile is also available with a multipurpose blast warhead which is effective against buildings, bunkers and field fortifications. The Spike LR II uses a new infrared seeker with a smart target tracker and artificial intelligence features. It was designed to overcome active protection systems. This missile can attack targets from the top. It can be launched in fire-and-forget mode, as well as fire-observe-and-update mode, or can be launched in no line of sight and use 3rd party target designation via a wireless datalink. The Spike LR2 missile is compatible with launchers of the Spike LR. This missile was first ordered by the IDF in 2017. It was planned to become operational by the end of 2018. It supplemented in production the original Spike LR. The Spike LR2 is also being license produced by the Eurospike in Germany.

 

 
Spike LR

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Spike LR

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Spike LR

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Spike LR

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