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Spike Anti-Tank Missiles successfully test-fired by Indian Army

The Indian Army recently test fired two Spike long-range anti-tank missiles at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh and these missiles are expected to further boost its combat prowess.

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and several commanders witnessed the firing of the newly acquired missiles. Spike is a fourth generation missile which can engage any target with precision at ranges up to 4 km. For the last nearly three decades, the Indian Army has been using outdated second generation missiles.

In 2011, an RFP (request for proposal) was floated for more than 8000 missiles to Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). The Spike missile was the only one to qualify after going through a complex procurement process.

The defence ministry completed the negotiation in 2016 but the programme did not see the light of the day. To overcome the critical capability void, the Indian Army procured a limited quantity of Spike LR missiles to meet the urgent operational requirement. It is widely expected that the Spike long-range anti-tank missiles will bolster the Army’s fire power capability.

About ‘SPIKE’ Anti-tank Missiles:
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. It is an Israeli fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge HEAT warhead, currently in its fourth-generation. It was developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants.

The long and extended range versions of the Spike also have the capability of “Fire, Observe and Update” operating mode (also known as Lock-on after launch (LOAL)). 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.

SOURCE: NDTV, Wikipedia

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