Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Systems Limited announced on 3 January, that its SPYDER air defence system is now enhanced with a sophisticated Counter-TBM (Tactical Ballistic Missile) capability.

The new feature is the product of Rafael’s Counter-TBM SPYDER program, which involved researching and analysing the lessons learned from recent and ongoing armed conflicts involving extensive use of tactical ballistic missiles. The program has brought about a practical upgrade to the SPYDER system which is equipped for implementation. Brig. Gen. Pinhas Yungman, Executive Vice President and General Manager Air & Missile Defence Systems Division said:

“This extremely important Counter-TBM feature will be offered as an option in the SPYDER’s toolbox. Under the SPYDER’s tailor-made solution paradigm this capability will be offered as a cost-effective option to our valuable customers with respective urgent operational needs.”

SPYDER is a quick reaction, low-level open architecture surface-to-air missile system designed to counter attacks by aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, and precision-guided munitions. SPYDER has multiple target engagement capabilities for handling 360° saturation attacks. It is the only Israeli-made air defence system that has been incorporated into the air defence array of NATO.

SPYDER family of systems incorporate the PYTHON-5 dual waveband IIR missile, I-DERBY active radar BVR and the I-DERBY ER long-range missile, each of which can be used for air-to-air missions as well. The SPYDER-SR and SPYDER-ER variants are 360° slant launching systems that provide a 40 km range. The SPYDER-MR and SPYDER-LR are vertical launch systems capable of covering a radius of 80 km.

SPYDER Air Defence system is operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

SPYDER is one of numerous air defence systems offered by Rafael, others include the Iron Beam laser-based system currently in development with Lockheed Martin, and the Iron Dome system.

The latest variant, SPYDER All-in-One, incorporates an integrated radar, Toplite EO/IR sensor, and launcher onto a single platform to address a defence force’s individualized, operational needs. SPYDER is operational with multiple international customers.