Rafael sharpens Spike missile offering

Tel Aviv
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Rafael has teamed up with both AgustaWestland and Airbus Helicopters to offer its Spike air-to-surface missile as an integral part of the weapons systems carried by their rotorcraft.

AgustaWestland is currently offering its AW159 armed with the Spike NLOS missile. Eight of the aircraft are on order for the South Korean navy, which will use the Israeli missile as one of its main weapons.

Airbus Helicopters has already integrated the Spike with its Tiger attack helicopter for the Spanish army, and a Rafael source says the weapon is also now being offered with the airframer's AS550 Fennec.

The Colombian army's fleet of Sikorsky UH-60-series "Arpia-4" Black Hawk helicopters are also armed with all three variants of the Spike: the ER, LR and NLOS. As a result, Rafael is able to offer its weapon via all three manufacturers involved in a Polish contest for a new fleet of military rotorcraft.

Rafael has recently tested the upgraded capabilities of its Spike missile, with the main activity having increased the range of the NLOS version to 16.2nm (30km), from 13.5nm. The company has also tested the system with a laser guidance modification. The NLOS round is carried by Israeli air force Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.