Rafael’s FireFly to Revolutionise Infantry Doctrines in Urban Close-Combat, Used Recently in IDF Operation

By Arie Egozi

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: During the recent Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) operation in the Genin refugee camp in the West Bank, some of the special commando units used the Rafael FireFly personal loitering weapon system.

FireFly (Maoz) was designed for fighting within the urban arena where situational awareness is limited, the enemy is behind cover, and precision is critical. FireFly is rapidly deployed within seconds. It is portable, durable and includes a rugged airframe to withstand the harsh environment of urban combat. Its single-user operation is designed for the dismounted soldier – light, small, and agile.

FireFly features a dual seeker, target tracker, homing algorithms, computer vision, safe and arm fusing mechanisms, and a rugged tablet-based HMI (Human Machine Interface).

Rafael says that the operation of FireFly is very intuitive, with no special skills required. FireFly enables overmatch to break combat deadlock, and has a lethal effect on stationary and moving targets with or without line-of-sight to operator.

FireFly has an abort/wave-off capability and full, safe return capability to the operator up to attack command. It can be operated day and night, and has low visual and acoustic signature.

According to Rafael, FireFly will dramatically revolutionise the infantry doctrines in urban close-combat, enabling precision engagement for the lower tactical echelons beyond-line-of-sight. This according to the company, will give IDF soldiers a tactical edge in close combat. Rafael believes that FireFly will serve as a building block in future potential applications for a large variety of battle arenas.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and its US subsidiary RSGS demonstrated the SPIKE FireFly loitering munition at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment 2022 (AEWE), a collaborative venue under the Manoeuvre Battle Lab of the Manoeuvre Centre of Excellence at Fort Benning. It is the Army’s primary venue for Small Unit modernisation, providing capability developers, Cross Functional Teams (CFTs), PEO’s, the Army Science and Technology (S&T) community and industry a repeatable, credible, rigorous operational experiment supporting both concept and materiel development.