Recent photos show the Israeli Air Force AH-64D carrying Rafael “Spike” missiles.
Taken by Noam Menashe recently, the images in this post show IAF AH-64D “Saraf” of the 113 “Hornet” Squadron based at Ramon, Israel, carrying the indigenous Spike missile system in what appear to be the NLOS (Non-Line Of Sight) variant.
According to AFM, the photos have been cleared by the Israel Defense Forces censor proving that the missile system is now officially considered part of the Israeli “Saraf” armoury.
The NLOS is an ultra-long range version of the precision attack system believed to have a maximum range of up to 25 km and a weight of 70 kg.
According to Rafael, the SPIKE NLOS weapon system can be operated in either direct attack upon target detection using LOBL (Lock-on Before Launch) Mode or firing from stand-off in automatic navigation mode based on operator or target acquisition system provided coordinates (INS navigation).
A bidirectional RF data link enables transmission of the missile seeker video image to the operator as well as real-time updating or steering of the missile.
Indeed, along with the range and non-line of sight firing capability, the electro-optically guided Spike has the ability to switch between targets and abort its mission if the operator believes the initial target should no longer be engaged.
Spike NLOS can also receive target data from remote target acquisition systems, such as airborne UAVs, or remotely operated via networked command and control systems. The communications between the missile and operator is conducted over an optical fiber, enabling effective, broadband, secure two-way communications.