Range of fire
Altitude of fire
Number of missiles
(Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby)
air defense system was developed by Rafael and Israel Aircraft
Industries (IAI) to meet Israeli army requirements. Currently this
air defense system is in service with Georgia, India (18), Peru (6) and
Singapore (12). Georgia was the first country to purchase this air
defense system. The SPYDER saw combat in 2008 during the war with
Russia. This air defense system destroyed Russian
Tu-22MR reconnaissance aircraft and
Su-25 ground attack aircraft. Indian Army selected this air
defense system in 2006. Procurement contract was awarded in 2008.
First air defense systems were delivered to Singaporean Air Force in
2011. It replaced the older RAPIER. Deliveries of the first system
to Peru was expected in 2014.
The SPYDER air defense system is unique in several aspects.
It is the only system that launches two different types of missile
from the same launcher pad. The essential idea creating this system
was to make it as easy to operate as possible, regarding Israeli
army’s model that is based mainly on reservists, so that even not
very experienced and skilled soldier could operate the system.
fire Python 5 and Derby missiles, designed by Rafael. Basically
these are air-to-air type missiles, modified to be used as
surface-to-air missiles. The Python 5
short range missile has a range of 15 km. It has infrared guidance and imagery archive.
It can identify a wide range of airborne threats. The Derby is a
short-to-medium range missile. It has an active homing guidance
through radio frequency. After being launch it locks on, tracks and
destroys the target. The Derby has a range of up to 50 km. Both the
Derby and Python 5 missiles find the targets themselve. Also both of
these missiles are smokeless. It makes harder to detect
visually the missile and its launch position.
SR is a short-range version of the SPYDER. The launcher vehicle
carries 4 missiles. Missiles are launched at an angle. In 2006 a
SPYDER MR medium-range version was introduced. The launcher vehicle
carries 8 missiles. All missiles are fitted with boosters for
extended range. Most of the system elements are the same in both
versions. The SPYDER MR system is additionally supported by a
truck-mounted high performance surveillance radar, that gives longer
range. Both versions can carry any mix of missiles.
air defense system is very agile. It is being deployed by high
mobility vehicles. Its launch pad is rotatable and rotates through
can be operated either as a standalone unit or integrated into
extended defense formation with different components. Full
composition of SPYDER air defense system includes one command and
control vehicle with radar, two missile resupply vehicles, one field
service vehicle, and 6 vehicles with missile launchers. Each of them
carries 4 missiles. The SPYDER MR battery additionally includes a
truck-mounted high performance surveillance radar. The launcher
vehicles have a datalink and can be deployed up to 10 km from the
command post vehicle.
defense web can be arranged in less than 5 minutes. Once the battery
is set up the first missile can be launched within 5 seconds.
Systems radar controls over 40 km area and allow the system to
operate in day/night and all weather condition.
has three types of operation modes. In manual mode the operator
selects detected target and launches missile at it. In
semi-automatic mode the system finds, identifies and tracks the
target, while being ready to fire. The operator only has to launch
the missile manually. In automatic mode the system launches missiles itself
as soon as hostile aircraft is detected.
air defense system can be based on various chassis. The Georgian
SPYDER is based on ROMAN 6x6 truck chassis. Indian SPYDER launcher
is based on Tata 6x6 chassis. Indian command post vehicle with radar
is based on
Tata 8x8 chassis. Singaporean SPYDER launcher is based on MAN
TGS 6x6 chassis, and command post vehicle on MAN 8x8 chassis. The
system can also use Tatra 6x6,
Mercedes-Benz Actros 8x8 or any other suitable chassis.
Article by ZAAL TCHKUASELI
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Video of the SPYDER air defense