The SPIKE NLOS will be complementary to other short-range missiles in the US arsenal, but with a longer range
Spike NLOS for the AH-64E Guardian
In February 2021, an AH-64E attack helicopter carried out an Israeli Spike NLOS missile strike. This shot destroyed a floating boat at a distance of more than 27 kilometres. Jointly conducted by the US Army and the US Air Force, the campaign to test this Israeli delivery system was successfully concluded. Indeed, since 2019, the two armies have been conducting joint experiments to determine the added value of this system. A previous test in August 2019 had highlighted the ability of the NLOS to destroy a target (in this case a Pantsir-S1 replica) without ever detecting and identifying it, but using data provided by a JTAC group relayed by an Apache.
This campaign validation will allow the NLOS to be gradually put into service within the US forces. It will complement the AGM-114 Hellfire and future AGM-179A, whose ranges do not exceed 10 kilometres. Its length and intelligent operating mode, coupled with the Guardian's AN/APG-78 Longbow radar, will make it a weapon with formidable maritime capabilities, ranging from neutralising suicide boats to engaging corvettes (500 tonnes). It claims similar characteristics to the ANL (Anti-Ship Light) built by MBDA.
Designed by the Israeli equipment manufacturer Rafael, the NLOS (Non Line Of Sight) is the latest addition to the SPIKE family, a range of missiles developed since the 1980s. The NLOS weighs 71 kilos and has a theoretical range of 25 kilometres, which can be exceeded depending on the firing configuration. Capable of engaging targets in all weather conditions, it is equipped with an electro-optical system allowing it to be fired in "fire and forget" or "man in the loop" mode. Designed for collaborative combat, it can be guided to its final destination by systems other than the launcher. Adaptable to the needs, it has numerous charges to maximise damage (HE, fragmentation, anti-bunker, anti-tank). A compact unit, it can be embarked on a multitude of air, land or sea installations.
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