Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Poland’s Mesko, a PGZ company, have agreed to co-produce the shoulder-launched SPIKE SR (Short-Range) Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), as part of Poland’s Pustelnik Programme. Led by the Polish MOD Armament Inspectorate, this is aimed at choosing an anti-tank weapon for Poland’s Territorial Defence Forces (WOT).
The SPIKE SR is an advanced Fire & Forget missile, for ranges exceeding 2000 metres, which is simple-to-use and requires very short training. SPIKE SR weighs only 10kg and is capable of day and night use while being capable of defeating any type of armoured vehicle or Main Battle Tank. SPIKE SR is totally disposable, a feature that enables the soldier a higher level of mobility and manoeuvrability after firing. It is the smallest member of the well-established, globally known and combat-proven SPIKE ATGM family which is in service in 34 countries, including 19 NATO nations, with over 34,000 missiles already supplied and more than 6,000 fired in tests and combat.
The SPIKE LR is the missile variant that has been in use by the Polish Defense Forces for some 15 years now, with local production of the missile parts and final assembly taking place in Poland by Mesko since 2003. This provides the infrastructure for the future Polish production of the SPIKE SR missile, which is designed for different ground combat scenarios including tactical manoeuvre, platoon-level operations and for special forces missions. The SPIKE SR has unique operational characteristics that enable a high level of operational readiness as it can be carried easily by a solider without affecting manoeuvrability, enabling simple, intuitive and quick operation, with only a few seconds from “cold-start” to launch, in a variety of operational and environmental scenarios.
The missile’s lethality is achieved by a tandem HEAT warhead with a precursor charge that defeats Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA), allowing the main warhead to achieve its full penetration of Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA). With a high-hit probability in all scenarios and ranges, the missile can operate in severe weather conditions (from -35˚C to 55˚C) and in complex combat scenarios, such as engagement of fast-moving targets.
The missile’s stand-off range ensures a higher degree of force survivability, as it does not rely on any means of designation such as a laser, enabling the force to stay hidden. Due to the fact that its operation does not require special training, infrastructure, or a designated gunner, SPIKE SR enables operational flexibility. Its effective, powerful munition, does not require a central command and allows decentralised and dispersed operators to cover more terrain, a relevant concept of operation for territorial defence forces.