IAF Takes Delivery Of Spike NLOS 'Hunter-Killer' Long-Range Missile For Use Against China; Could Soon Be Manufactured In India

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Aug 04, 2023, 11:24 AM | Updated 11:28 AM IST

The Spike NLOS anti-tank missile fired from an Apache helicopter. (Lockheed Martin)
The Spike NLOS anti-tank missile fired from an Apache helicopter. (Lockheed Martin)

Indian Air Force (IAF) has received the Israeli Spike non-line of sight (NLOS) long range anti-tank missile, reported ANI.

Spike is a family of anti-tank missiles made by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli state-run company. These missiles can strike targets at a maximum range of 50 km when launched from helicopters.

The Indian Army's Special Forces already uses a variant of the Spike anti-tank missile in its arsenal.

The missile comes with a real-time wireless data link and uses its seeker and wireless data-link to give the user real-time video imagery and man-in-the-loop control throughout its flight.

When operated in mid-course navigation mode, this feature will allow the user to control the missile in flight to "alter or abort the mission" while it is en route to the target.

IAF will now integrate these missiles with Mi-17V5 helicopters and they are expected to be used to hit targets hidden behind the mountains in the northern theatre against China.

Lockheed Martin's Spike NLOS fact sheet. (Representative Image)
Lockheed Martin's Spike NLOS fact sheet. (Representative Image)

Three years ago (in 2020), the IAF started showing interest in the missile when the Chinese Army deployed a large number of tanks and infantry combat vehicles close to the Line of Actual Control.

The multi-purpose missile system comes with three warhead configurations — fragmentation warhead for vehicles with light armour, high explosive anti-tank warhead for armour penetration, and penetrating blast fragmentation warhead for fortified targets.

According to the report, the missiles are ordered in limited quantities and can be 'Made-in-India' if a significantly large order is placed.

The US has also validated the Spike NLOS missile from its Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

The IAF operates 22 Apache helicopters, and the Indian Army has placed an order for six of these helicopters. The IAF can also integrate these missiles with Apaches in the future.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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