Rafael Upgrades SPYDER Air Defence System with Tactical Ballistic Missile Interception Capabilities


Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: Israeli company Rafael has upgraded its SPYDER air defence system and it is now capable of intercepting Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBM). Some Gulf countries and some European countries are already negotiating the purchase of the new version or get an upgrade of existing versions. The Czech Republic in October 2021 signed a contract for the purchase of four batteries of Spyder LR air defence systems.

Israeli sources said that the war in Ukraine has dramatically increased the interest in the Spyder.

The introduction of this feature is the product of Rafael’s Counter-TBM SPYDER program which involved researching and analysing the lessons learned from recent and ongoing armed conflicts involving extensive use of tactical ballistic missiles. The program has brought about a practical upgrade to the SPYDER system which is equipped for implementation. In response to urgent operational requests from a number of existing customers throughout the world, the program will extend the capabilities of the SPYDER’s effectors as well as implementation of various Counter-TBM derivatives across the system.

Executive Vice President and General Manager Air & Missile Defence Systems Division Brig. Gen. (Res.) Pinhas Yungman commented: “Rafael is a world-leading expert in the field of missile defence, as evidenced by our top-notch products, such as DAVID’S SLING and IRON DOME. We are proud to announce that our international sales leader – SPYDER – has been reinforced with a tactical ballistic missile defence capability.   This extremely important Counter-TBM feature will be offered as an option in the SPYDER’s toolbox. Under the SPYDER’s tailor-made solution paradigm this capability will be offered as a cost-effective option to our valuable customers with respective urgent operational needs.”

The SPYDER Air Defence System is the only Israeli made air defence system that has been incorporated in the aerial defence array of NATO. SPYDER is a quick reaction, low-level surface-to-air missile system designed to counter attacks by aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, and precision guided munitions. The system provides effective protection of valuable assets, and first-class defence for forces located in the combat area. SPYDER’s open architecture allows external components to be easily integrated and flexibly combined, affording different configurations with various ranges and capabilities based on customer needs and priorities. Its autonomous capabilities can detect threats while on the move, and enables a 360° launch within seconds of the target being declared hostile, in all-weather, multi-launch, and net-centric capabilities. All the SPYDER systems have multiple target engagement capability for handling saturation attacks.

SPYDER systems incorporate the most advanced air-to-air-missiles with proven performance: Rafael’s PYTHON-5 dual waveband IIR missile, I-DERBY active radar BVR, and the I-DERBY ER long-range missile, each of which can be used for air-to-air missions. The SPYDER-SR and SPYDER-ER variants provide 360° slant launching missile systems provide quick reaction, lock-on-before-launch (LOBL) and lock-on-after launch (LOAL) capabilities, while extending the range of defence to up to a 40 km radius. The SPYDER-MR and SPYDER-LR offer medium & long-range target interception through vertical launch while pushing the defence envelope up to an 80 km radius. The most recent variant, SPYDER All-in-One, incorporates an integrated radar, Toplite EO/IR sensor and launcher onto a single platform to address a defence force’s individualized, operational needs.