Successful Live Fire Event Clears Spike NLOS LRPM DR System for US Army’s Apache V6 Platforms

By Arie Egozi

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: Lockheed Martin successfully fired eight Spike NLOS all up rounds (AURs) over the course of five days from the US Apache Echo Model V6 at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The successful live fire event clears the Spike NLOS Long Range Precision Munitions Directed Requirement (LRPM DR) system for Airworthiness Release (AWR) for the US Apache platform, which paves the way for starting to equip the system onto the US Army’s current Apache V6 platforms.

The Spike NLOS was developed by Israeli company Rafael.

“This successful demonstration of Spike NLOS showcases that the system is ready to be integrated onto the Army’s current Apache fleet and provides a premier defence capability of choice when precision and accuracy matter,” said Tom Bargnesi, program management senior manager of the Precision Strike team at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The AWR allows delivery of 21st century security solutions to our Army customer for complex threat environments.”

The demonstration featured eight Spike NLOS AURs firing from an Apache platform at a variety of targets, showcasing the system’s different mission set capabilities across multiple scenarios. This demonstration was one of the final steps for the system to receive AWR and allow the Army to begin the fielding Spike NLOS onto its Apache V6 platforms.

In mid-2024, Lockheed Martin will work with the Army to train pilots to use the system on the Apache V6 platforms. The Army expects the Spike NLOS LRPM DR system to be fully integrated onto all 18 Apache Echo Model V6 platforms by September 2024.

The SPIKE NLOS is combat proven and proved to be an effective tool for both high intensity conflicts (HIC) and low intensity conflicts (LIC).  According to Rafael, the Spike NLOS is one of the most advanced and modern precision weapon system.

The Spike NLOS missile can be fired in LOS to target using the same principals of the other Spike missiles of tracker lock-on and F&F abilities. The main concept of the weapon system includes the capability to fire in non-line of sight.

The firing to a NLOS target is based on grid coordinates using INS/GPS navigation and ending missile flight in terminal guidance based on the electro-optical guidance using missile seeker image transmitted to operator via wireless RF data link.

The target coordinates are fed either manually to the Spike NLOS system or selected from pre-defined targets or mission data bank. After launch the missile flight is according to its automatic navigation algorithm. During flight, manual scan of the target area is possible within the Field of Regard (FOR).  Pointing to the target may be resumed any time by pushing a button. Reaching a condition threshold; the missile terminates its automatic navigation. Terminal guidance is either performed by using tracker lock-on or manual steering the seeker.

According to Rafael, the Spike missiles are now integrated onto more than 10 different attack helicopters and that includes both Spike ER and Spike NLOS. The integration to the customer helicopter can be done with cooperation with the helicopter manufacturer or as a standalone kit.

Rafael says that the Spike NLOS is a true “game changer” allowing the helicopter to engage targets at a range of up to 30 km, without line of sight, well out of the enemy air-defence range without being detected.