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The German army has recently its annual training with the Rafael Spike LR ATGM - Light as a multi-role-capable in the armed forces missile systems (MELLS) introduced - completed. When it was according to data from the Office for army development to the training of trainers and the squad leader. The shooting campaign took place in challenging weather and a total of 54 missiles were fired SPIKE LR (Long Range). Used came the new SPIKE iCLU (integrated Control Unit Packed) bowler who has a new digital Nutzderinterface. In the Bundeswehr MELLS is intended as a successor to the MILAN anti-tank missile.

During the training the shooters were faced with challenging Szenare, including against enemy BLOS (Beyond-Line-of-Sight) situations in which the enemy is entrenched behind cover and can not be seen with the launch of the SPIKE. (See video) Other Szenare were a target change during flight, shooting at night with infrared (IR), in rain and strong winds. According to the manufacturer met even under the most adverse conditions every 54 Protect their goals.

Total SPIKE is in 31 countries in use, of which 18 are from the circle of EU and NATO members. Many of them use this fact for the planning and implementation of joint training, maintenance and even procurement. So far, about 30,000 missiles have been delivered. These are used served in the infantry, but also by land, sea and air vehicles. The guided missile SPIKE family have a fortschritlichen electric-optical multispectral seeker, which can be used both day and night. A high accuracy as well as the "Top Attack" mode will allow the shooter to hit the most vulnerable points of an enemy vehicle or shelter. For Europe, the SPKIE is EUROSPIKE, produced with headquarters in Germany and distributed.

In the army MELLS is so far the Special Forces Command (KSK) and the infantry used. For the VJTF 2019 MELLS has also been integrated into individual Marder. It is still running the integration of the SPz PUMA and WaTrg WIESEL (as TOW replacement). The tactical examination and the largest share of necessary proof guides for the SPz Puma were successfully completed 2,018 years. Therefore, the redemption of the Series option for the end of 2019 is expected. A first partial assignment for the additional demand VJTF has already been a year. Based on the action to life extension WIESEL 1, the BAAINBw intends shortly serial conversion of the WIESEL fleet.

SPIKE development

Although MELLS is in the army in parts still in the introduction, the SPIKE family has been developed. Latest SPIKE family members are Spike SR (Short Range), Spike LR 2 and since September 2018, the Spike ER 2 (Extended Range).

With the Spike SR is an ultra-modern Fire & Forget missile at your disposal, which has as a shoulder-mounted anti-tank weapon on advanced seeker technology and the latest in sensor technology (uncooled IR Dektoren). With an adapted version of SR (MELLS 2000+) and a range of approximately 2,000 m intends to EUROSPIKE in the program "active agent 1800+" to compete.

With the Spike LR 2, the next-generation missile is launched. In addition to an increased range of at least 5.5 km of these received a large number of new and improved technical features such as:

  • Modern seeker technology based on high-performance uncooled IR sensors
  • Sophisticated warhead architecture with increased power capacity
  • Highly reliable tracking even under changing light conditions
  • Permanent Electoral exchange facilities between day and night sensors in flight
  • Fusing the day / night sensor image
  • Own navigation / networking capability

Due to the forward-looking procurement strategy of BAAINBw by the early change to the new generation of SPIKE weapons systems (iCLU) opens up a variety of new tactical and operational options for a future deployment and use of the new generation missile LR 2. Naturally, the Spike LR 2 together with LR down- with regard to the previous and new generation of weapons systems and forward compatible.

When SPIKE ER 2 some technical improvements were made similar to the LR second In particular, the advanced capabilities with respect to the active control of the guided missile by means of fiber optic data link to a range of 10 kilometers and in addition with the aid of a newly developed RF data link up to a distance of 18 kilometers for a substantial increase in performance.

The manufacturer sees the Spike SR especially for use in KSK and special forces - here as an active agent 1800+ - before. The requirements in terms of further missile MELLS in Germany are known and the introduction of the new LR 2 is for the next Beschaffungslos MELLS quite an interesting option. In addition, the LR 2 has become even more attractive for use in almost all military helicopters by its increased distance capability. The Bundeswehr currently sees but no "official" requirement, as these weapons would compete for MBDA PARS 3LR. The ER 2 would be able to provide due to its range particularly suitable for use on helicopters and navy his skills. By the way, Spain has the ER since long time successful in the TIGER combat helicopter in action.

André Forkert