Rafael revamps anti-tank missile for longer range, more firepower

Israel’s Rafael defense contractor on Thursday unveiled a new version of its anti-tank missile, the Spike NLOS.

The sixth-generation missile was touted by the Israeli arms manufacturer as now having the capability to be launched in a salvo of up to four missiles, and an extended range of 50 kilometers (31 miles) when launched by helicopter.

The missile has a 32-kilometer (20-mile) range when launched from a ground-based system. A single operator will now be able to launch up to four missiles at once, which “significantly increases the gamut of long-range targets that can be hit, and thereby strengthens the element of surprise,” the company said.

Additional features in the latest generation of the Spike NLOS included what the company called a “hand over” mode, where the missile can be launched by one system and then controlled by another, seamlessly.

In a simulated demonstration, the company showed a scenario in which a missile is launched by a helicopter that then flies away to avoid an enemy air defense battery; a ground-based system swiftly takes over control of the missile to direct it toward the target.

The company said the missile can be fed with information on the fly, using UAVs and other aircraft which are flying high above a target. In previous generations of the Spike NLOS, an operator would have to manually enter target coordinates, which the company described as a “complex technical task.”

“With the help of images provided by various electro-optical sensors, the missile locates the target on its own, marks it, and helps the operator to neutralize it more accurately and simply,” the company said.

It said this feature would be especially helpful when attempting to hit a specific target among other similar targets in the same area, such as an enemy commander’s tank amid a platoon.

The missile was unveiled ahead of the Eurosatory defense expo, set to be held next week in Paris.

Spike anti-tank missiles are already in use by the Israel Defense Forces, where they are used under the name “Tammuz.”

Israeli arms sales in 2021 hit a record of $11.3 billion, with officials citing a sharp increase in demand for Israeli-made weapons.

In 2021, similar to previous years, Europe was the largest purchaser of Israeli defense goods, buying 41 percent of total exports.

Israeli companies exhibiting at the pavilion include Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, IMI Systems, Israel Weapons Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, among dozens of other smaller companies.

According to an independent global security think tank, Israel was ranked the 10th-largest international weapons exporter in the past five years.


It’s not (only) about you.

Supporting The Times of Israel isn’t a transaction for an online service, like subscribing to Netflix. The ToI Community is for people like you who care about a common good: ensuring that balanced, responsible coverage of Israel continues to be available to millions across the world, for free.

Sure, we’ll remove all ads from your page and you’ll gain access to some amazing Community-only content. But your support gives you something more profound than that: the pride of joining something that really matters


Join the Times of Israel Community


Join our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this


You’re a dedicated reader

That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Thank you,
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel


Join Our Community


Join Our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.