Greece Acquires RAFAEL’s SPIKE Anti-tank Guided Missiles in 370 Million Euro Deal
The purchase of RAFAEL’ SPIKE anti-tank guided missiles by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense, valued at about 370 million Euros, was announced by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD). SIBAT, the IMoD’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, facilitated the agreement. Director General of the Israel Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Zamir and the Greek Director of the General Directorate for Defence Investments and Armaments, Vice Admiral (rtd) Aristeidis Alexopulos signed a GTG agreement for the export of naval, air and land-based SPIKE missiles manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. SPIKE missiles are used by about 40 nations worldwide, including 19 EU and NATO nations. More than 34,000 SPIKE missiles have already been deployed to various countries worldwide, and more than 6,000 of those missiles have been fired for multiple objectives, including training and actual combat.
“We welcome the agreement with the Greek Ministry of Defense and thank the Israeli Ministry of Defense for promoting cooperation with Greece in general and in regards to this deal in particular. The SPIKE missiles will strengthen the Greek army’s portfolio of operational tools and we expect further expansion through strategic collaborations in the near future,” said Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yoav Har-Even, CEO and President of Rafael.
“This project joins a series of agreements between the State of Israel and the Hellenic Republic, and further emphasizes the strong partnership between our countries and our defense establishments, as well as our mutual commitment to ensuring regional stability,” said Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant.
“This agreement with the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense is yet another expression of the strategic partnership between Israel and Greece. It is part of a series of agreements worth billions of shekels which we have signed in the last two years, including the recent update of the Greek Air Force Pilot Training Center’s capabilities,” said Director General of the Israel Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Zamir.
SPIKE is an Israeli fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead. As of 2007, it is in its fourth generation. It was developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants. The missile is equipped with an imaging infrared seeker. The long and extended range versions of the Spike also have the capability of “Fire, Observe and Update” operating mode (also known as Lock-on after launch (LOAL)). The missile is connected by a fiber-optical wire that is spooled out between the launch position and the missile. With this, the operator can obtain a target if it is not in the line of sight of the operator at launch, switch targets in flight, or compensate for the movement of the target if the missile is not tracking the target for some reason.
Greece will acquire Israeli-made Spike NLOS (non-line-of-sight) missiles to bolster its defense capabilities and military presence in the Aegean and Evros. The weapon system will reportedly be installed on the country’s Spike-NLOS systems on 4×4 vehicles, Plasan SandCat or JLTV, Apache AH-64D attack helicopters and four Machitis-class gunboats. The range and accuracy of the Israeli weapon system can turn simple patrol boats into “dangerous weapons” to counter enemy ships on the country’s maritime borders. “Non Line Of Sight” is an ultra long-range version of the weapon, with a claimed maximum range of 25 km (16 mi). It is a significantly larger missile than other Spike variants, with an overall weight of around 70 kg (150 lb). It can be launched from the ground or from helicopters. The Spike NLOS uses a fiber optic link similar to other Spike versions, but only out to 8 km, after which it employs a radio data link for command guidance.