Romania Likely to Purchase Rafael’s Spyder Air Defence System

By Arie Egozi

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: European countries are evaluating the purchase of the Israeli air defence system, the Spyder made by Rafael. At this stage Romania is expected to be the next client. Until now, Spyder was selected by Morocco, the Czech Republic and Greece.

The Spyder system has proved its capability to intercept UAV and missiles. Rafael has upgraded the system and it is now offered as the All in One version.

The former commander of the Israeli Air Defence Forces Brig General (ret.) Zvika Haimovich said that there are obvious parameters that make the Spyder system so popular. “The System in its new version is mobile and this is a big advantage in combat affecting survivability and effectiveness,” he pointed out.

He added that while the system is considered in the class of short range air defence system (SHORAD), it is also affective in the medium range class and that gives it an advantage against a larger list of threats.

“Every such truck carrying the launcher and the sensors, is actually an independent battery and this is very important in an area that has to deal with multiple threats,” he said.

Haimovich added that the price of the Spyder All in One version also contributes to its popularity. “When the threat comes in the form of multiple targets like swarms of armed drones, the price of the interceptors becomes a major consideration,” he stated.

This capability according to Rafael is not less than crucial, as in Ukraine and now in Israel, armed UAV’ and armed drones are operated in big numbers and cause casualties.

The Spyder system, according the Rafael has proved its capability against various airborne threats, including missiles, UAVs, aircraft, helicopters, and tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs). The system intercepts threats using two families of Rafael-manufactured air-air missiles, Python 5 and Derby.

Recently, Rafael introduced a new configuration for the Spyder – the All in One, featuring an integrated radar, electro-optical sensor, launcher, advanced control and command system, and the two missiles used for air defence.

A Rafael official said that this configuration serves as an optimal air defence solution for point defence or area defence, either as part of a Spyder battery, or deployed independently with minimal operator involvement.

According  to the Israeli company, the big interest in the Spyder All In One version stems from the understanding that there is an operational need to protect assets including long range air defence systems. “The armed drones swarms that have become very popular without any doubt will also target major air defence systems so there is a crucial need to protect them and the Spyder is a good solution.”

The Rafael official added that the Spyder All in One is carried by a truck and is controlled with a hardened laptop in the trucks’ cabin. “The combination of the AESA radar and our Top Lite optical sensor allows pin point intercepts”

The official added further that the optical sensor enables shutting down the radar when it can help the enemy to target the air defence system.

The Romanian government has allocated US $ 2.1 billion for the upgrade of the country’s air defence systems. The Romanian defence officials visited Israel and were briefed about the system.