Spike is an Israeli fourth generation man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge HEAT warhead, developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

As well as engaging and destroying targets within the line-of-sight of the launcher ("Fire-And-Forget"), some variants of the missile are capable of making a top-attack profile through a "fire, observe and update" guidance method; the operator tracking the target, or switching to another target, optically through the trailing fiber-optic wire (or RF link in the case of the vehicle-mounted, long-range NLOS variant) while the missile is climbing to altitude after launch. This is similar to the lofted trajectory flight profile of the US FGM-148 Javelin.


Frontal close-up of the Spike missile's Command & launch unit (CLU) with thermal-imaging sight, tripod mount and an attached dummy missile canister.

Spike is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance. The missile is equipped with an imaging infrared seeker.

The medium, long and extended range versions of the Spike also have the capability of "Fire, Observe and Update" operating mode. The missile is connected by a fiber-optical wire that is spooled out between the launch position and the missile. With this, the operator can obtain a target if it is not in the line of sight of the operator at launch, switch targets in flight, or compensate for the movement of the target if the missile is not tracking the target for some reason. Hence, the missile can be fired speculatively for a target of opportunity, or to provide observation on the other side of an obstacle. The missile has a soft launch capability – the motor firing after the missile has left the launcher – that allows for the missile to be fired from confined spaces, which is a necessity in urban warfare.

The missile uses a tandem warhead – two shaped charges, a precursor warhead to detonate any explosive reactive armor and a primary warhead to penetrate the underlying armor. Currently, it is replacing aging second generation anti-tank missiles like the MILAN and M47 Dragon in the armies of the user nations.

The Spike system is made up of the launching tripod with its fire control unit and the missile. There is no dedicated thermal sight on the launcher – the missile's imaging seeker is used. Altogether, the long range variant of the system weighs around 26 kg (57 lb).

Spike can be operated from the launcher by infantry, or from mounts that can be fitted to vehicles such as fast attack vehicles, armored personnel carriers or utility vehicles. Vehicles that are not normally fitted with anti-tank weapons can therefore be given anti-tank capability.

Spike has been tested as a weapon system for the SAGEM unmanned aerial vehicle. The Spanish Army has fitted the Spike-ER to its Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters. Both Israel and the United States have experimented with arming Black Hawk helicopters with the Spike missile; the US variant is used in UH-60M Battlehawk helicopters.


The reusable Command & launch unit (CLU), battery, tripod and the thermal sight are common for both MR and LR versions of the Spike missile family, each weighing 5 kg (11 lb 0 oz), 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz), 2.8 kg (6 lb 3 oz), and 4 kg (8 lb 13 oz) respectively.


The short range version of the weapon was unveiled in 2012 to give infantrymen a guided missile between the larger Spike-MR and unguided rockets. The missile is 8 kg (17 lb 10 oz) for a 9.8 kg (21 lb 10 oz) disposable munition for use at platoon-level whose minimum range is 50 m (160 ft) and whose maximum range is 1.5 km (0.93 mi). It is equipped with a stiff-necked uncooled electro-optical infrared seeker and advanced tracker, as opposed to the gimbaled seeker in the Spike MR/LR/ER versions. The Spike-SR does not require a separate sight, instead utilizing the low-cost thermal camera and guidance electronics strapped to the missile's nose to provide this function through a display integrated into the launcher, showing the target until launch. The warhead can either be a multi-purpose tandem shaped-charge warhead with blast-fragmentation effect or a new Penetration-Blast-Fragmentation (PBF) anti-structure warhead to equip maneuvering forces in urban environments to breach enemy cover and structures with a lethal blast effect.


The medium range version (also known as "Gil"). The weight of the missile is 14 kg (30 lb 14 oz), its minimum range is 200 m, while its maximum range is 2,500 m (1.6 mi). It is used by infantry and special forces.


Long range version. The weight of the missile is 14 kg (30 lb 14 oz), and the weight of the complete system is less than 45 kg (99 lb 3 oz). Maximum range is 4,000 m (2.5 mi) and it is used by infantry and light combat vehicles. It adds fiber-optic communication to and from the operator during flight. Reported armour penetration capability is more than 700 mm (28 in) of Rolled homogeneous armour (RHA). In early 2014, Rafael revealed they had increased the range of the Spike-LR to 5 km (3.1 mi), enhancing versatility on existing firing platforms and allowing it to be utilized on new ones like light helicopters.


Extended range or extra-long range version of the weapon. It was formerly also known as the NT-Dandy or NT-D. It has a minimum range of 400 m and a maximum range of 8,000 m (5.0 mi). It has a larger diameter and is heavier than the other systems, and is usually vehicle mounted. It is used by infantry, Light Combat Vehicle (LCVs), and helicopters.

Spike NLOS

"Non Line of Sight" codenamed "Tamuz" is an ultra long range version of the weapon with a claimed maximum range of up to 25 km (16 mi). It is a significantly larger missile than other Spike variants with an overall weight of around 70 kg (154 lb 5 oz) that can be launched from the ground or from helicopters. It is a need for a high-precision guided tactical ground-to-ground battlefield missile.


Rafael claimed that this latest member of the Spike family of missile costs and weighed only a third of the Spike-LR at 4 kg (8.8 lb), while offering a longer engagement range of 1.3–1.5 km (0.81–0.93 mi) when compared to the Spike-SR. (Text adapted from Revolvy & Wikipedia)