The Army is apparently on the market for some brand new anti-tank missile systems, and Israel’s Rafael may have a solution.
The Israeli defense contractor announced on Thursday that the service had evaluated the company’s fire-and-forget SPIKE SR (short range) missile as part of the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) 2021 earlier this month.
Billed as a lightweight shoulder-fired munition with an “enhanced” range of 1.25 miles (2,000 meters), AEWE “assessed SPIKE SR as a precision munition system for infantry squads, for which portability and simplicity of operation is essential,” according to the company.
The assessment included a live-fire demonstration during which SPIKE SR missiles obliterated both static and moving targets in both daytime and nighttime infrared modes, according to the company. It was the first live-first demonstration of the Israeli-made missile on U.S. soil.
According to Rafael, the live-fire demonstration was an unmitigated success, with the company claiming that “Army evaluators provided positive feedback on the system’s lightweight, lethality and ease of use compared to what is currently in use.”
“This light-weight system can greatly enhance squad-level soldier lethality, a core capability of the Army,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Joe Anderson, president and CEO of Rafael Systems Global Sustainment, in a statement.
According to Rafael, the Spike SR missile itself weighs just 21 pounds (9.6kg) and comes with three types of warheads: high-energy anti-tank, fragmentation, and anti-structural.
Army infantry squads currently employ the FGM-148 Javelin, BGM-71 TOW, AT-4, and M3E1 Multi-purpose Anti-armor Anti-personnel Weapon System (MAAWS) to deal with armored threats.
The Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga., which administers AEWE, did not immediately respond to request for comment.