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Indian Army successfully test-fires Spike LR antitank missiles.

| 2019

The Indian Army has successfully test-fired two newly-acquired Spike LR antitank missiles at the Infantry School at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, The Economic Times reports.

Indian Army successfully test fires Spike LR antitank missiles
Israeli soldiers ready to fire Spike LR antitank guided missiles (Picture source: Rafael)

The Indian Army has successfully test-fired two newly-acquired Spike LR (long-range) antitank missiles at the Infantry School at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh. The firing was witnessed by the top Infantry hierarchy of the Indian Army, including the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat.

Since the induction and training, this was the first time that soldiers from the Indian Army carried out practice firing of the missile. The confidence of the firers in the missile was such that difficult firing scenarios were deliberately selected. This included firing into the sun with CCD, and firing with IIR without any heating of the target, using only the ambient temperature difference. All missiles successfully hit their targets.

Spike is an Israeli fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge HEAT warhead, currently in its fourth-generation. It was developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants. As well as engaging and destroying targets within the line-of-sight of the launcher in fire-and-forget mode, some variants of the missile are capable of making a top attack profile through a "fire, observe and update" guidance method (essentially lock-on after launch (LOAL); Long-range version (Israeli designation: NT-Spike). The weight of the missile is 14 kg, and the weight of the complete system is less than 45 kg. The maximum range is 4,000 m (2.5 miles) and it is used by infantry and light combat vehicles. It adds fiber-optic communication to and from the operator during flight.

Reported armor penetration capability is more than 700 mm (28 in.) of Rolled homogeneous armor. In early 2014, Rafael revealed they had increased the range of the Spike-LR to 5 km (3.1 miles), enhancing versatility on existing firing platforms and allowing it to be utilized on new ones like light helicopters the operator tracking the target, or switching to another target, optically through the trailing fiber-optic wire (or RF link in the case of the vehicle-mounted, long-range NLOS variant) while the missile is climbing to altitude after launch. This is similar to the lofted trajectory flight profile of the US FGM-148 Javelin.


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