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Jack Richardson

Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. is participating in Poland’s “Ottokar-Brzoza” tender (formerly known as “Tank Destroyer”) with Polish Conglomerate PGZ after the Israeli company unveiled its new multi-missile launcher design. This includes eight ready-for-launch SPIKE NLOS missiles which have a stand-off range of 32km (the longest range variant of the SPIKE Family) and all-weather performance, enabling the weapon to effectively prosecute enemy tank formations.

This is a 5th Generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile, 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, 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.

To meet a key requirement of the Polish Tank Destroyer programme, the stand-off weapon of choice must be able to cope with any type of terrain, including urban, as invading formations use urban areas for quick supply. The features of SPIKE NLOS facilitate engagement in urban terrain with pinpoint accuracy that is hard to obtain with laser-guided or radar-guided missiles, thereby minimising the potential of collateral damage, allowing 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 and air-defence launchers.

A proven solution

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 armored platforms, light Special Forces vehicles, maritime platforms, as well as from attack helicopters, including potentially the future “KRUK” Programme for a new Polish Attack Helicopter. The new SPIKE NLOS launcher is based on a stand-alone multi-purpose launcher that can be integrated onto any current or future Polish platform including the Polish BWP-1, the KTO ROSOMAK or the Future BORSUK IFV. Another important feature is compatibility with other SPIKE Family members in service with Poland’s Armed Forces, allowing the unit to utilise the thousands of existing in-stock SPIKE rounds from the same launching system.

The successful use of the SPIKE LR by the Polish Defence Forces and the fact that this missile is produced in Poland by MESKO, a PGZ company, lays the infrastructure for the future Polish production of the SPIKE NLOS missile as well the launchers. As part of its general vision, particularly at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, RAFAEL is continuously working to leverage industrial cooperation by contributing and operating with local industries, sharing its knowledge and expertise, in order to implement advanced technologies in the industry and in the Polish Armed Forces, to maintain its edge in today’s modern battlefield.

Watch out for ESD 9/20 and our Status Report on all Major Polish Defence Programmes.