Rafael Fires SPIKE NLOS Missile from Oshkosh JLTV in Estonia

Defence Industry

By Arie Egozi


Tel Aviv: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Oshkosh Defense have completed a successful demonstration and live firing of Rafael’s SPIKE NLOS (Non-Line-Of-Sight) missile from an Oshkosh JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle).

SPIKE NLOS is a fifth generation, 32 km-range missile, with high effectiveness achieved by  a navigation system and lethal warheads capable of destroying a wide range of targets. It is part of the SPIKE family of multi-mission, precise, electro-optical missiles with legacy of 37 customers worldwide.

The demonstration, hosted by Estonian Navy, took place in Saaremaa Island, Estonia, in front of representatives from 14 countries, including Spike-user NATO countries, and senior members of Estonia’s defense ministry and members of the Estonian Armed Forces.

The demo included a live firing of two SPIKE NLOS missiles from a launcher mounted on the Oshkosh JLTV. The missiles was fired towards a beyond-line-of-sight two different naval targets with different size and characteristics located at sea, both targets were destroyed. The demo displayed the SPIKE NLOS missile’s unique capabilities, addressing modern coastal protection challenges and a large variety of targets, either at sea or on land and dense marine traffic.

The SPIKE NLOS enables positive visual target identification and precision strike at extended ranges and beyond-line-of-sight against marine targets (landing craft, corvettes, commando RIBs etc.), and on land – tanks and armoured vehicles either at amphibious state or on shore, infantry, forward command posts and more. It has a bi-directional datalink, enabling full control of the missile from launch up to target hit with pinpoint precision that is not affected by range. Unlike laser-guided or active radar munitions, the SPIKE NLOS electro-optical guidance is completely passive and is capable of operation in a GPS-denied environments.

As a multi-platform solution with cross-force commonality, SPIKE allows missile stocks to managed jointly by users, create joint procurement and facilitate mutual support and maintenance.

Mr. Roman Palaria, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Rafael’s Precision Tactical Weapon Systems Directorate said, “Rafael is privileged to have Estonian Armed forces as SPIKE user and we sincerely thank the Estonian Navy, for their assistance in demonstrating SPIKE NLOS unique capabilities, especially in these challenging times. We also thank our partner Oshkosh for the opportunity to demonstrate our joint solution on-board the JLTV, with ease of integration through excellent cooperation between the companies.”

Mr. John Lazar, Vice President and General Manager of International Programs commented, “Oshkosh Defense is proud to participate with partner Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in the successful integration, demonstration and live firing of Rafael’s SPIKE NLOS missile. The JLTV is more than a light tactical vehicle; it offers the ability to integrate a full spectrum of mission packages, including sensing, communications, fires, passive and active protection and more.  This live fire demonstration further proves the modularity and multi-mission capability of the JLTV platform.”

With a standoff range of 32km, SPIKE NLOS is the longest range variant of the SPIKE Family, featuring all-weather performance, enabling the weapon to effectively prosecute enemy tank formations. One SPIKE NLOS battery can cover very large operational areas, creating a significant tactical footprint.

SPIKE NLOS is a 5th Generation ATGM, which includes a highly advanced electro-optical guidance unit, enabling passive target engagement (no laser emission, radar signals or GPS-dependence). The unique combination of standoff and EO guidance allows a SPIKE NLOS unit to launch stealth salvo attacks, engaging multiple armoured targets simultaneously, breaking the enemy’s momentum. The system is capable of engaging line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight targets, with a choice of engagement modes using digital targeting data provided over standard secure military networks, fully interoperable with NATO.

SPIKE NLOS, with its real-time data link and high quality EO seeker, facilitates engagement in urban terrain with pinpoint accuracy that is hard to obtain with laser-guided or radar-guided missiles, thereby minimizing the potential of collateral damage and allows significantly better discrimination among  targets as friend, foe or uninvolved.

Another major differentiator of the EO guidance is the ability to discriminate real-time high value targets (as the missile approaches the target area) such as enemy command & control assets, air-defense launchers and others, whose removal from the operational area dramatically affects the opponent.

The SPIKE NLOS missile is in service with numerous armed forces around the world, including several NATO members, and has been fired thousands of times in combat, from armoured platforms, light Special Forces (SF) vehicles, maritime platforms, as well as from attack helicopters.

Watch video here: https://youtu.be/26se7fKetLQ

-The writer is an International Roving Correspondent of the publication.