Army evaluating Rafael anti-tank missile for use on helicopters, combat vehicles, and unmanned aircraft

March 9, 2022
The Spike non-line-of-sight (NLOS) missile is a fire-and-forget anti-tank and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge high-explosive warhead.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – U.S. Army anti-tank missile experts are enlisting the help of Lockheed Martin Corp. to evaluate the Israeli Spike lightweight anti-armor missile for potential use by infantry warfighters, and on combat vehicles, helicopters, and perhaps unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., announced a $138.9 million contract last month to the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Orlando, Fla., for federation, testing, and user operational assessments of the Spike Missile.

The Spike non-line-of-sight (NLOS) missile is the product of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. in Haifa, Israel. It is a fire-and-forget anti-tank and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge high-explosive warhead that is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants.

The U.S. Navy evaluated the Spike missile as early as 2012 for potential use aboard medium-sized UAVs like the MQ-9 Reaper and the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopter to replace or augment the larger and heavier AGM-114 Hellfire missile.

Related: Lockheed Martin to build AGM-114 laser-guided Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles in $101.3 million contract

The Spike's operator tracks targets optically through the trailing fiber-optic wire or RF link while the missile is climbing to altitude after launch. The Spike NLOS missile that operators can guide manually or automatically to targets as far away as 20 miles.

The weapon’s seeker and wireless datalink provide operators with real-time video imagery and control throughout the missile’s flight, and enables operators to alter or abort the mission while the missile is in flight.

Lockheed Martin is teaming with Rafael to offer the weapon system to U.S. customers. The U.S. Army demonstrated the Spike NLOS missile aboard an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., in 2019.

On this contract Lockheed Martin will do the work in Orlando, Fla., and Haifa, Israel, and should be finished by January 2025. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at, or the Army Contracting Command-Redstone at

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