Indian Army successfully test-fires Spike LR missile
Spike missile: Spike LR is a fourth-generation missile that has the capability of engaging with any target with precision up to a range of 4 km.
Spike LR missile: The Indian Army has successfully test-fired two Spike LR (long-range) anti-tank missiles from an Infantry School at Mhow, in Madhya Pradesh.
The test-firing was witnessed by top commanders of the Indian Army including Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who were at the Mhow cantonment to attend the annual Infantry Commanders' Conference.
Spike LR is a fourth-generation missile that has the capability of engaging with any target with precision up to a range of 4 km. The newly-acquired technology is expected to boost the Indian Army’s firepower capability.
Spike LR: Key Features
• The advanced Spike LR missile does not only have the capability to fire and forget but also the ability to fire, observe and update.
• The missile would help provide substantial flexibility to the shooter to pinpoint the exact impact point.
• The missile also has the ability to switch to a different target mid-flight, if the shooter decides to do so. It also offers the shooter, the option to fire from either low or high trajectory.
• The Spike LR has an inbuilt seeker that gives the shooter the flexibility to use any of the two modes: Day (CCD) and Night (IIR). The dual seeker increases the missile's reliability.
• The missile was already assessed to be more than 90 percent reliable during a field evaluation by the Indian Army in 2011.
• This was the first practice firing of the missile by the soldiers from the Indian Army since induction and training and all missiles successfully engaged with the target despite the difficulty level.
Overall, over 5,000 Spike missiles have been fired across the world with an overall success rate of more than 95 percent. Hence, the induction of the missiles in the Indian Army will help boost its firing capability.
Since the past three decades, the Indian Army has been using second-generation missiles, which are now outdated. The need to induct third-generation missiles was recognized almost ten years ago.
In 2011, a proposal for more than 8,000 missiles with the transfer of technology was floated to the Bharat Dynamics Limited. Out of the proposals, the Spike missile was the only one to qualify after the elaborate Indian procurement process. The Defence Ministry completed the negotiation for the missile in 2016.
However, the programme was shelved as the government was in favour of indigenously developing the missiles through India’s DRDO.
Though there has been progress in DRDO’s development programme, there is still a long way to go before the missiles reach the user. So to meet the current urgent operational requirement, the Indian Army has procured a limited quantity of Spike LR missiles
With this, India became the 33rd country in the world to have the Spike missile as a part of its inventory.
What is Spike missile?
Spike is a fourth-generation anti-tank guided missile, which is developed and designed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The missile is man-portable and has its own vehicle-launch and helicopter-launched variants.