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JAVELIN VS SPIKE
STORY BY: JAROSŁAW WOLSKI PHOTOS: ŁUKASZ PACHOLSKI, MICHAŁ SITARSKI
In Poland, the entire idea boils down to two options. These are either
to buy additional Spike ATGMs (already deploted) or to try to
diversify the number of systems and order weapons from a different
manufacturer. For many reasons, Spike’s only real competitor is the
US Javelin – promoted intensively for a year now as the solution for
National Guard (Territorial Defense Forces), POLSOF, and aeromobile
units. This leads to a number of questions then: what were the requirements
for Javelin’s and Spike’s development? What are their specs?
Are both systems similar? Which of the systems performs better?
Which will perform better in Poland-specific conditions?

The currently existing anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) systems can be
divided somewhat into three groups. The first and youngest of them
is the heavy-class with a range of several – several dozen km, with
targeting provided often from external sources. An example: the Israeli
Pereh, succeeded by Spike NLOS, and the Russian Hermes. Americans
are also working on such a solution, but based on Hellfire R. The second
group is that of conventional missiles, having succeeded anti-tank
guns. They usually operate based on semi-automatic, SACLOS-based
guiding. The method involves the operator keeping the reticle within
the silhouette of the target, and the system calculates the control
commands automatically and sends them over a wire to the fired missile.
In order for the CLU’s aiming module to be able to calculate the
commands, missile tracking is required. It is possible thanks to placing
a marker in its rear – a flare, an IR marker, a xenon lamp, etc. Older
SACLOS systems were susceptible to natural (fires, flares, explosions,
etc.) and intentional jamming, caused by vehicle active protection systems
(VAPS) such as e.g. the Russian Shtora. Newer systems come
with a modulated and pre-set operating frequency of markers and
built-in anti-jam modules, which has significantly increased their reliability.
Examples include: TOW, Milan, HOT, Fagot (AT-4 Spigot), Metys
(AT-7 Saxhorn), and Konkurs (AT-5 Spandrel). The second sub-set of
this group are laser guided missiles.

Speaking in simplified terms, they are ATGMs that are able to “read” a
laser beam and try to follow its line on the way to the target while the
beam cone is aimed at an enemy vehicle. It’s enough to place an optic
receiver at the back of a missile; it transforms the laser beam into electrical
impulses processed by the control system. The laser beam, of
course, has to pass through a device that modulates and encodes it so
that it carries information about the system of coordinates read by the
missile. Beam guidance, or beam-riding, is simpler, cheaper, and less
prone to natural jamming than SACLOS. Such a guidance solution is
featured in e.g. the famous Russian Kornet (AT-14 Spriggan). The main
disadvantage of the two groups described above is that the systems
are usually sizeable, heavy, or tend to hit tanks where their armor is the
thickest – which is the front. That’s why since the 1980s some countries
have been working on ATGMs intended to hit the roof of the turret
and the hull of the tanks. Initially, on account of technical limitations,
the solution of choice was overfly top attack (OVA) missiles, whose
warheads were aimed downwards. Examples include BILL/BILL2 and
TOW-2B. A later development were ATGMs able to “plunge” at their targets,
and the applied guidance method is different than beam-riding or
SACOS. Such an example is the Indian Nag (being still at the development
stage), the Japanese Type 01 LMAT, and the main characters of
this piece – the Javelin and the Spike.

The birth of the Javelin

Javelin ATGMs origins date back to the cold war era, where one of
the threats was hordes of Soviet tanks – not only coming in greater
numbers than those of NATO, but also – a thing much forgotten
today – usually better from their Western equivalents in terms of their
basic parameters. In 1978, United States come to one obvious conclusion
– their Dragon M47 “is not effective enough”. It’s an understatement,
to put it lightly. The anti-tank defense system was composed then of:
the “heavy” TOWs at the battalion level and M47 Dragons at the company
level. The M47, developed in 1966 (and introduced into service in
1972), offered a range of up to 1 km, featured SACLOS guidance, and
could penetrate 450 mm RHA. The time to reach the maximum range
was 10 s. Such type of guidance and head were already no match for the
resistance of the front of the turret and the hull of T-64A, T-64B, T-80/80B,
and T-72A tanks, which meant one thing – poor performance. Indeed,
already in 1977 CIA estimated that M47 would be able to destroy only
18% of the hit T-72s at most...

Such a forecast was certainly far from optimistic because the other anti-
tank weapon available at the company level (the disposable M72 LAW
grenade launcher) was even less effective. The improvements made to
the TOW, becoming a refined weapon since the 1980s, became a light
of hope, but no effective anti-tank solutions at lower levels than battalion
was still a fact. In 1983, the US Army defined the requirements for
aAdvanced Anti-Tank Weapon System-Medium (AAWS-M). Four different
solutions were taken into consideration at first. The ‘base’ was an
extensively modified Dragon with a tandem warhead and a new guidance
system. Ford Aerospace came up with a beam rider missile called
TopKick: laser beam guided, offering overfly top attack and striking the
target using two EFP charges. Hughes offered a missile guided using
a thermal imager and controlled by the operator using a fiber optical
solution. Texas Instruments, in turn, put forward a “shoot-and-forget”, IR
guided missile. In the period 1988–1989, the solution found to meet the
requirements best turned out to be the last of those mentioned above.
Eventually, becoming a joint project of Texas Instruments and Martin
Marietta (now Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin), it was named the FGM-
148 Javelin. The initial stage of tests and development of its design took
place in December 1993. 1996 marked the start of the trial operation of
the Javelin, which was finally adopted by US Army in 1997. In 2006, the
system was put into operation after its first major upgrade – Block I. Over
35,000 missiles were manufactured by 2013, with 26,000 of them bought
by the US Army. By 2018, the Javelin has become a part of the military
equipment of about 21 countries, with over 70 launchers purchased by
(excluding the US):

Australia – 92
Estonia – 120
France – 76
Georgia – 72
Great Britain – over 140
Lithuania – planned: 114
Jordan – 192
Norway – 100
Taiwan – 380.

This gives a total of ten major operators of the system. The Javelin was
used in combat Iraq in 2003, and later in COIN operations in Iraq and
Afghanistan. It has been also used in Syria. According to British reports
from Afghanistan, FGM-148’s reliability is 94%. Paradoxically, over 95% of
launched missiles were aimed at non-armored targets, with 2,100 such
targets hit by 2013. Javelins are manufactured only in the USA. Only UK
was granted the permission to assemble some pats locally. Americans
are very strict in terms of transferring the manufacturing and know-how.
On the one hand, there are clear advantages to such an approach (e.g.
no Chinese copies), and on the other, this approach has resulted in some
lucrative deals – with Germany and India, for instance – coming to nothing.
Speaking of the Javelin, we need to bear in mind that it is ATGM
system developed not to replace but to support TOW, and a short-range
successor to the Dragon. Placing the Javelin as a platoon/company-tier
weapon instead of the M47 already at the design stage turned to be
a guarantee of having a user-friendly weapon of a reasonable size and
weight. The Javelin was widely adopted by the US Army thanks to the
simplicity of single-channel guidance and an affordable price at a limited
range and certain obvious limitations as for its applicability. However, it
has surely been an export success, being a perfect element of the American
battle order and requirements for light anti-tank weapons.

Spike

The origins of the Spike are linked to the Israeli attempts to develop a
ATGM that could attack enemy tanks from a distance, taking into account
that the target could hide behind natural obstacles, which has
been in the works since the time of the Yom Kippur War. American TOWs
did not meet the requirements of the IDF because they were difficult to
guide. Therefore, there was a need for a different solution. The first was
the Tamuz (1982) – offering a range of about 10 km, radio-guided and
based on a simple data link transmitting the image from a day vision
camera, or a thermal vision camera in later variants. The missile attacked
from a significant elevation level, which was necessary to maintain the
connection with the launcher. As a result, the connection was lost below some level.
Since Tamuzes were big and heavy, they were used to create self-propelled tank
destroyers with launchers fixed on M113 transporters or M48 tanks, each carrying 12
missiles, becoming the Pereh missile carrier. As part of the low-cost disposal of the missiles’
service life, they got employed in combat from 2005 (the Gaza Strip) to the time
of Protective Edge (2014). Around 1,000 Tamuzes were launched in total in combat. The
Tamuz turned out to be a success, although the missile itself was too big and heavy to be
used as a substitute to the TOW. The dead zone was too big, and the guidance system
had many flaws. At the same time, somewhat in the background, there were works to
develop an own missile. Rafael suggested fiber-optic guidance already in the 1970s, but
it appeared technically unfeasible back then. In the early 1980s, in turn, the IDF decided
to opt for a laser beam guided system for an own modification of the TOW – MAPATS. The missile is basically an
aerodynamic copy of the TOW-2, featuring laser beam guidance. But that
solution (from 1984) did not satisfy the IDF either, and this was because
the range was limited by the direct line of sight (LOS) of the target in field
conditions and the increasingly common installation of laser warning
systems on tanks, such as the Shtora or the Polish Bobrawa, which not
only protected tanks through a salvo of multispectral smoke grenades
but also indicated the approximate location of the launcher... By the end
of the 1980s, such systems were able to ensure protection against beam
riding in as much as 80% (!) of cases. No wonder the IDF started looking
for alternatives quite soon. The qualities sought-after included small size
and weight, passive guidance with human in the decision loop, and a
feature of BLOS firing. In 1987, Rafael obtained an approval to have the
army finance its works on a new missile guided passively using a thermal
vision camera and fiber-optic technology. The program was named Gil.
It got suspended in 1992 and restored two years later. The new system,
known then as the NT-G Gil, was adopted by the IDF in 1998. Although
Israeli sources don’t speak much about it, the sequence of events and the
dimensions and the applied solutions make it clear – Hughes’ offer from
the AAWS-M program of mid-1980s was identical in terms of the applied
solutions and the aerodynamic features, and very similar in terms of the
size and weight to the Gil. So we can be almost certain that after Texas
Instruments’ solution was chosen as part of the AAWS-M program (ca
198:cool:, Hughes’ rival solution did not go to waste and made it to Israel.
The Spike is, in fact, the Javelin’s stepbrother, and its technical features
originate from the same program – AAWS-M, which paved the way for
the FGM-148, although Israel’s requirements were much different. The
acquired technology had enough potential to make it possible to create
– in combination with the experience with the Tamuz – a whole family:

the basic lightweight F&F NT-G Gil,
the medium range NT-S Spike,
the aerial NT-D Dandy ATGM,
the Spike NLOS – a direct successor to the Tamuz.

In 2002, the family was rebranded to bear the name ‘Spike’ and the following labels:
MR, LR, and ER. The advantage of the Spike family is the scalability of solutions based
on standard sub-assemblies. Rafael’s product range is also highly flexible and offers
several guidance options – from the simplest F&F based on a thermal vision camera
to fiber-optic guided missiles with a dual mode based on a thermal vision camera and
daylight. There are also different warheads to select from, e.g. three different types of
fuel. The Israeli are not very strict when it comes to transferring some of their technology
to countries who have bought Spike products. As a result, the Spike has become
a considerable export success – at least 25 countries are Spike users, with over 70
launchers to be sent to:

Finland – 118
Germany – 410
Italy – 365
Lithuania – 88
the Netherlands – 297
Poland – 264
Spain – 260)

Much more than 70 (the exact number is secret) been sold to Israel, Singapore,
Romania, Azerbaijan, Chile, and Peru. This gives a total of at least
13 major operators of the system.

The Spike family is currently manufactured in four countries, although
the extent of works is highly diversified. The base and complete manufacturing
is handled by Rafael in Israel, of course. The second network
of cooperators in terms of the transfer of technology and the final assembly
plant is found in Germany – as part of the EuroSpike GmbH
program, the country manufactures 70% of sub-assemblies, including
guided warheads, powers supply systems, launchers, CLUs, and other
elements. General Dynamics-Santa-Barbara Sistemas operating in Spain
deal mainly with final assembly. The percentage of technology transfer

is unknown. The last manufacturer of Spike products is the
Polish Mesko (with the rate of works taking place in
Poland having exceeded 20% after over a decade). Mesko makes
some sub-assemblies such as warheads (oldest generation) and fuel
tanks. Final assembly is also the main area of the plant’s operation.
By 2018 there were 2,000 launchers and over 32,000 of missiles of all versions
manufactured in total. The popularity of the Spike should not be surprising
– it is a very good and well-designed weapon of unquestionable
effectiveness. It offers also many unobvious advantages that make the
whole family able to become a comprehensive solution for entire armed
forces.

The table is only a mere basis to an in-depth analysis of both systems
and the various technical nuances that make these two very similar solutions
perform much different in tactical practice.

The size and the weight of both systems are similar – it can’t be different since both
missile systems originate from AAWS-M. The Javelin is larger in diameter, but it has
a much smaller CLU. Both missile types can be shoulder-fired or propped against makeshift
natural supporting structures. In both cases, firing at longer distances requires a tripod, which will be clear
to anyone who has ever tried to follow a moving target using binoculars
with small-diameter optics and a magnification of more than 10x at a distance of 1 km. That’s why the comparison of
the systems in the same sets of features shows that they differ in weight only by 3 kg in favor of the latest Javelin.
FGM-148 and Spike can be easily carried by a team of 2, and be freely loaded onto and into vehicles. It’s hard
to name the winner here. The first major differences are seen at the level of the CLU sensors.
Javelin’s CLU weighs 7 kg in Block 0 and only 4.2 kg in Block I version; it’s also very small
– which is FMG-148’s clear advantage. Spike’s CLU weighs 10.5 kg, but the entire
block is quite well protected against mechanical damage thanks to steel sheeting;
the user ergonomics is perfect – at the cost of a much bigger size. Javelin’s CLU features
two sights – an auxiliary one, simple, optical, with a 4x magnification and a field of
view of 6.4° by 4.8° and the primary one, composed of a cooled infrared camera
featuring 240 detectors in two rows. Its wide field of view is 6.11° x 4.58° with a 4x fixed magnification,
and the narrow field of view is 2° x 1.5° with a 12x fixed magnification. In the case of IR sights, a very
important parameter is the ability to distinguish the minimum contrasts
between the temperature of the target and the background. The value
of this contrast is defined as ΔT (temperature difference). With Javelin’s
CLU, it is perfect, amounting to only 0.59°C. The Spike features a much
more extended CLU module. The first sensor is an optical telescope with
a fixed magnification of 10x and a field of vision of 6° x 4.5°. After the
missile is activated, an OLED display assumes the optical channel and
displays the image from the missile’s CCD camera. The displayed image
is of a very good quality, additionally offering a 3x digital zoom, which
gives a 30x zoom in total. Its use does not activate the missile’s battery
and it does not need cooling. As a result, this is a frequent solution for
observation in combat conditions, and – importantly enough – it is fully
reversible because the missile’s seeker is activated only in the CCD mode,
and can be deactivated an almost indefinite number of times. The second
sensor is a cooled TIR camera offering 76 800 pixels and a 3.5x fixed
magnification with a field of vision of 6° x 4.5° and a 10x fixed magnification
with an optional electronic 3x magnification (30x image magnification in total)
in the narrow field of vision – 2° x 1.5°. The minimum ΔT for Spike’s thermal
vision camera is below 0.5°C. The cooling time of FMG-148’s thermal
vision camera is 2.5 minute, and in the case of the Spike - it’s below 12
minutes, but we need to remember that the IR camera of the latter can be cooled earlier and
kept operationally ready for over 3.5 h. The time to operate the CLU from the moment of the decision to open fire
until launching the missile in the F&F mode was 40 s for older versions of the Javelin, and ca 20 s for the newer Block I. Spike’s operator
is able to launch the missile in an identical attack mode within less than 15 s. In the case of manual trajectory correction or locking
the target after the launch, Spike’s operator is able to launch the missile
within 7-10 s. It’s not true that Javelin’s CLU is easier to operate than
Spike’s CLU – it is actually the other way round, which is proven by soldiers
who’ve had a chance to use both of these systems. A highly interesting
matter is that of the degradation of IR cameras’ ranges depending
on weather conditions and the related issue of the risk of “friendly fire”.
Contrary to common beliefs and the outcomes of marketing activities
(sometimes including making a fire inside a target-tank or exposing such
a tank to burning sunlight for six hours), the thermal vision camera is not
a Wunderwaffe that will always help us spot the enemy within the full
range of “manufacturer-declared” distances. As for targets with temperature
contrasts, i.e. ΔT of over 20°C, the detection range is from 5 km to...
1 km, depending on the weather. The ability to identify the same target
will be within the rage of 4.5 km to... 500 m. The situation is much worse
when it comes to CLU IR camera’s ability to detect low-contrast targets
with ΔT below 10°C. Here, the detection range is within 4 km to 300 m,
and the identification range is from 4.5 km to 200 m. This means that the
atmospheric conditions, especially fog, haze, drizzle, and rain can bring
the declared performance of IR cameras by even 80%. In consequence,
a typical fall weather can make the range of detection work up to about
800 m even though the manufacturer may claim almost 4 km. So even if
the operator is able to detect a thermal spot of an operating drive system
and a plume of fumes, it will be impossible to identify the target at such a
distance. At the same time, there is another revolution already happening
in the military sector, which is about shifting from linear defense towards
spatial defense. It is about having no separate first echelon (in the conventional
sense) or forces to defend positions. In addition, it will involve temporary retreating
from the occupied positions and forcing enemy forces to break through or
pass by the pockets of resistance with a simultaneous continuous fending off
the striking reserves and overcoming the effects of fire-electronic attacks. To
intensify the effect of such attacks, it may be necessary to even let the enemy enter deep into the
line of our own defense formation. Defense will be therefore active and the enemy will be attacked not only across the
whole depth of their formation but also across the whole depth of
our own defense line (which the enemy will enter upon our “invitation”)
– in many places and from many directions at once. This will result in
own and enemy forces moving, with communication and identification
being the key elements. And this is where it seems reasonable to wish
good luck to anybody trying to differentiate the Russian T-72B3 from
the Polish T-72M1 or PT-91 and the BMP-2 from the BMP-1 in the CLU.
It will be actually impossible even at a distance of about 0.8-1 km in early
winter and spring when the weather is highly changeable, or during
snowfalls. The problem has been noticed in the West, where vehicles are
equipped with large thermal identification panels – sounds like a good
idea, but if we don’t want to be seen from a huge distance... In the case
of the Spike, even a misidentification of a target makes the operator able
to intentionally miss it after marking the vehicle’s affiliation once again
– correctly. In the case of the FMG-148, misidentification will mean striking
own vehicles. The feature of a CCD optical camera in Spike’s CLU is
well-motivated – in good weather conditions, its target detection range
is 8 km, and is even bigger than that of IR cameras. Both systems have
had some features implemented to become more functional – this results
mainly from the fact that a CLU is a great observation tool for small
sub-units, and is very often used as such. Americans fighting in Iraq and
Afghanistan have learned about it – the latest versions of Javelin’s CLU
have an additional laser pointer, a laser rangefinder, and a GPS module.
It makes it possible to turn FMG-148’s CLUs into a system of guidance
of air or artillery support. Spike’s CLU has been used in many areas since
the beginning, and Polish soldiers have been many-time precursors in
this context. One of the areas of development was telemetry, i.e. loading
the image from the warhead during its flight to a separate tablet. It has
turned out it is possible to mark and indicate targets for other launchers
this way (after the first missile is launched). It is possible to transmit
approximate coordinates of e.g. artillery in the same way.
The user-friendliness of Spike’s CLU and the fact that it
can be powered using a battery or a replaceable accumulator
with a long service life of the IR camera have made this CLU become an unofficial “go-to”
observation device.

The most important area where significant differences
can be seen is the solution regarding missile
guiding. The Javelin offers automatic and fully autonomous
F&F guidance at a target thermal contrast set manually by the
operator. This has several serious consequences. First, you
simply can’t do anything once the missile is fired. In theory,
a homing missile keeps the course automatically at the
thermal contrast set by the operator, but if it loses it
in the Block 0 version (after e.g. the target drives
into a natural obstacle), it means a miss. Block
I offers some ways to compensate for the problem
thanks to a much improved missile warhead
and a steep upward trajectory the missile follows
when approaching its target. Another – even more serious – problem is
the reliability of target indication for the missile’s homing warhead. We
should bear in mind that the parameters of missile homing warheads
are several times lower than that of a CLU. In the case of Javelin Block
0, the specification is IR 64x64 elements with a field of vision of 1° x 1°
and zoom: 9x. Javelin Block I offers a warhead with 128x128 elements
and the same zoom and FOV. Spike LR, in turn, features a cooled IR warhead
with 120x120 elements, a CCD day vision camera with 550x400 elements,
a field of vision of 1.5° x 2° and a 10x zoom. Spike’s dual guidance
– fiber-optical and with a human in the loop – offers a range of advantages
compared to the Javelin when it comes to the reliability of marking
and guiding the missile to the target. In the case of very hot targets with
a high ΔT, marking them and locking the seeker of an FMG-148 warhead
on them will be easy. Unfortunately, the battlefield abounds in situations
when the said ΔT is small, and the Javelin warhead may have serious
problems with striking its target. The first such problem is the phenomenon
of IR crossover. In the case of targets without an engine in operation
(a tank inactive for a long time, a bunker, etc.), two times a day (at dusk
and dawn) there occurs a phenomenon when ΔT equals zero, meaning
that the temperature of the background is almost the same as that of
the “target”. It is very difficult to determine the target for the seeker of an
FMG-148 warhead then. Americans took the problem into consideration
in advance. The manual suggests extended manual setting of contrast
and brightness to have at least a slight chance of determining a part of
the target for the warhead. The thing is, however, that the Polish weather
may make it much more difficult to lock the warhead on the target even
though the CLU’s operator will know well where the target is. This coupled
with the said “IR crossover” makes it virtually impossible to lock a
target at a distance of over 0.5 km. It can be just as difficult to mark a
target against a sunrise or a sunset, or against a very hot city landscape
– depending on the circumstances, the situation can extend the procedure
of target marking, or even make it impossible to set the target at a
distance larger than 0.5 km. But a bigger problem is vehicles featuring
IR band camouflage. Such camouflage solutions are manufactured in
e.g. Poland (Berberys), Russia (Tarnina), Sweden (Barracuda), or Israel.
They can mask the thermal signature of a vehicle so effectively that the
only objects that can be seen in the CLU are an engine spot, fumes, and
a fragment of hot tracks. Javelin’s manual stresses the need to mark the
middle of a vehicle’s body. Again – a human operator will know where
the target is, but the problem will be to mark the target for the missile’s
warhead. Situations when vehicles featuring such camouflage solutions
start using multispectral grenades or when there are fires and burning
wrecks on the battlefield get highly problematic. An IR warhead may be
even unable to “locate” a target predefined by a CLU operator. Javelin’s
manual puts it straight: wait until the vehicle moves away from such artificial
battlefield jammers or until the camouflage grenades burn out, or
the target becomes heated up. The Spike does not pose such problems
– the operator who has detected a target may fire at it using the guidance
option selected before launching the missile, i.e. the IR or the CCD
camera. Also – even if it’s impossible to lock the warhead on the target
automatically (F&F), it’s easy to launch the missile in the manual mode
at a given reference point in order to later try to lock missile at the target
(towards which the missile is heading) automatically or guide the missile
fully manually at the target via a fiber-optical link. This solution substantially
reduces the effectiveness of camouflage systems and active soft
kill systems. It is much more difficult to trick a human in the decision loop
than a missile’s computer. A huge difference is also in the actual range of
combating targets in European conditions. In theory, the Javelin should
be able to reach a target at a distance of over 4 km, but the problem is
its missile’s warhead ability to lock the target. That’s why Block 0 had a
declared range of 2 km, and Block I – of 2.5 km. These values are untrue,
of course, because they depend on the landscape where the battle is
fought. It is the range, or actually – to be more precise – the line-of-sight
(LOS) length between the Javelin’s CLU and the target that determines
the capability to shoot missiles at a given distance.

According to the American MAGTF Antiarmor Operations textbook, the
firing ranges in Central Europe are as follows:

over 2,500 m (6% of cases)
over 2,000 m (10%)
over 1,500 m (17%)
over 1,000 m (45%)
over 500 m (67%)

Polish and German reports say that the direct firing range in Poland is
1,500 m (96%) at most, and over 3/4 of battles are fought at a distance
of up to ca 850 m. And such will be the maximum range of the FGM-148
in most cases. The fiber-optic guided Spike has a tremendous advantage
here thanks to the option of BLOS firing – when a missile is launched
and the target is marked when the missile travels along its uphill-shaped
part of the trajectory. In other words – a Spike operator does not have
to see the target in the CLU. It’s enough they have information with the
enemy’s location. It doesn’t matter if it’s provided via BMS, UVA, or by a
scout with a telescope because the target may be fired at over a distance
of 4 km in the manual mode, and even of over 4.5 km in the automatic
mode after it is pre-marked for the F&F mode. This, of course, affects the
tactics of use of the two systems. First, Spike operators do not have to
get exposed to enemy direct fire – they can fire missiles hidden behind
an earth embankment, a hill, a building, etc. Javelin operators have to
change their positions basically once every missile fired. Maybe once
every two. Second – the standard distance of battles fought in Europe,
which is below 1 km, will mean that Javelin operators will have very little
time for shooting. The duration of the procedure during firing (excluding
initial cooling of the CLU) is about 40 s for Javelin Block 0 and about 20
s for Javelin Block I, and the launcher reloading time is 20 s. This means
that the theoretical time to load another missile, mark it in the CLU, and
launch it in the new Block I is still 40 s. A vehicle moving at a speed of 20
km/h across the battlefield will cover a distance of ca 220 m with such a
time. Americans say, after all, that the Javelin is able to fight up to three
targets within 2 minutes. Again, we need to bear in mind the standard
distance of European battles – which is about 850 m in 3/4 of cases.
Spike operators, in turn, are able to indicate the target and launch the
missile in the F&F mode within less than 15 s, which is quicker than in the
case of the Javelin, and the missile will pursue the target by itself. The
main attack mode is “fire, watch, correct”, though, where preparing the
missile takes 15 s, and the guidance within its trajectory takes 7 s, 15.5
s, and 26 s for 1 km, 2.5 km, and 4 km respectively. There is also a quick
procedure that lets a Spike user launch the missile within 7-10 s, but then
it is necessary to correct the trajectory or to mark the target for the F&F
mode. Targets may be then combated at the system’s maximum range
(4.5 km) in the BLOS mode. It’s enough to know the target’s approximate
location in azimuth. As a result of combining different types of guidance
solutions, a single Spike launcher is able to shoot a few times more missiles
than its Javelin counterpart. Or we can fire at the same number
of targets using fewer launchers – provided that we know the targets’
locations. The options to correct the missile’s trajectory or to guide it

to see the target in the CLU. It’s enough they have information with the
enemy’s location. It doesn’t matter if it’s provided via BMS, UVA, or by a
scout with a telescope because the target may be fired at over a distance
of 4 km in the manual mode, and even of over 4.5 km in the automatic
mode after it is pre-marked for the F&F mode. This, of course, affects the
tactics of use of the two systems. First, Spike operators do not have to
get exposed to enemy direct fire – they can fire missiles hidden behind
an earth embankment, a hill, a building, etc. Javelin operators have to
change their positions basically once every missile fired. Maybe once
every two. Second – the standard distance of battles fought in Europe,
which is below 1 km, will mean that Javelin operators will have very little
time for shooting. The duration of the procedure during firing (excluding
initial cooling of the CLU) is about 40 s for Javelin Block 0 and about 20
s for Javelin Block I, and the launcher reloading time is 20 s. This means
that the theoretical time to load another missile, mark it in the CLU, and
launch it in the new Block I is still 40 s. A vehicle moving at a speed of 20
km/h across the battlefield will cover a distance of ca 220 m with such a
time. Americans say, after all, that the Javelin is able to fight up to three
targets within 2 minutes. Again, we need to bear in mind the standard
distance of European battles – which is about 850 m in 3/4 of cases.
Spike operators, in turn, are able to indicate the target and launch the
missile in the F&F mode within less than 15 s, which is quicker than in the
case of the Javelin, and the missile will pursue the target by itself. The
main attack mode is “fire, watch, correct”, though, where preparing the
missile takes 15 s, and the guidance within its trajectory takes 7 s, 15.5
s, and 26 s for 1 km, 2.5 km, and 4 km respectively. There is also a quick
procedure that lets a Spike user launch the missile within 7-10 s, but then
it is necessary to correct the trajectory or to mark the target for the F&F
mode. Targets may be then combated at the system’s maximum range
(4.5 km) in the BLOS mode. It’s enough to know the target’s approximate
location in azimuth. As a result of combining different types of guidance
solutions, a single Spike launcher is able to shoot a few times more missiles
than its Javelin counterpart. Or we can fire at the same number
of targets using fewer launchers – provided that we know the targets’
locations. The options to correct the missile’s trajectory or to guide it
manually make the Spike offer a few more advantages the Javelin does
not have. First, it is possible to choose a target of a higher priority after
the missile is launched. We can also fire at original targets not detected
in the CLU. It’s possible to set the location of the attack precisely – the
roof of the turret, the hull, the engine compartment, and even the lid of
the commander’s or the driver’s hatch. Importantly enough, the Spike is
able to fight targets protected by means of soft kill systems because
there is a human factor in the decision loop. It is also capable of managing
with hard kill protection systems to some extent, owing to the very
specific attack and target approach trajectories. Simply speaking, the
Spike offers a much greater flexibility and guidance reliability than the
FGM-148. This comes at the cost of 7-26 s longer manual guidance (or
its correction), but the actual range is not 850-1,500 m but 4,000-4,500
m, which makes a huge difference. The Javelin’s clear advantage is the
minimum firing range – in the direct attack mode, it is only 65 m, which
is over three times lower than that of the Spike (200 m).

Both missiles offer, in essence, two main attack modes. For the Javelin,
it is direct attack with a flight altitude (depending on the distance from
the target) of 15 to 60 m, and top-attack with a flight altitude of 140 to
160 m (depending on the distance) and a dive at the target at a maximum
60° angle. A Javelin missile makes also a characteristic “viper-like” move
when approaching the target – which can confuse older types of hard kill
APS such as the Drozd, the Arena or the Zasłon.

The Spike comes with two main attack modes too. In the “low” mode, the
maximum flight altitude depends on the range and amounts to 40-130 m.
In the “high” mode – it is 40-250 m. The Spike’s advantage is the ability
to dive at the target at an angle of more than 80°, which makes it very
difficult to use active protection measures. But that’s not all. The Spike’s
manual mode can make the missile plunge almost fully vertically at its
target or even dive when it passes its target – and this depends on the
operator’s skills only. The Javelin offers, in turn, a cumulative warhead
with a precursor. A larger diameter of the missile, and therefore of its insert,
coupled with its optimization made it possible even for the early versions
to deal with over 1,000 mm RHA; and there was an effective precursor
on top of that. Given the attack angle, hitting any reactive armor had
to result in its neutralization. The primary warhead was able to deal even
with the main armors of tanks from the late-USSR era. When the missile
hit the upper surfaces of a tank, it was an overkill. But we should remember
about the paradox of precise but non-fatal hits. The Javelin aims at a
specified thermal contrast, which is why if the operator has not managed
to capture the whole contrast in the ΔT of the vehicle’s body and has not
marked its middle, the missile may hit e.g. the engine compartment or an
over-track shelf. It will immobilize the tank, but it won’ destroy it. Newer
versions of the Javelin feature an even more powerful warhead – offering
a two times greater ability to strike soft targets with shrapnel, and
its armor-piercing performance amounts to 1,200 mm RHA. That’s not
everything – a greater speed of the generated cumulative stream
makes it difficult for the “active” layers of an armor to “get hold of it” and
interrupt its continuity. And then there’s the next-gen precursor
– possibly something in-between EFP and HEAT, able to deal with most
ERA armors. The Spike features a much weaker warhead, which is
a result of the smaller diameter of the cumulative insert. The missile
comes with a precursor, but the main charge of the initial versions was
able to get through up to 700 mm of steel. The newer series can pierce
through almost 1,000 mm. It’s important to remember, though, that the
Spike may be aimed precisely at e.g. a tank hatch or an ERA-free part of
a vehicle.

Training a Javelin operator takes two weeks, with the training program
broken down into 10 days and 80 hours. To keep the learnt habits ‘alive’,
the idea is to launch at least one missile a year and eight exercise sessions
per year using MILES at different levels – from anti-tank section
through platoon to company and battalion. Is it possible to shorten the
training time? According to official information – it is. But will such a
cut-corner user be able to handle system errors and failures, manage
the contrasting of the target image in the CLU and setting the contrast
at a low ΔT, having practiced all of the above in advance? There can be
serious doubts about it, that’s why it’s better to adhere to the US Army
training program strictly in this respect. Training a Spike operator to run
the system in the F&F mode takes virtually just as much time. A complete
training is much longer, but this is because of the incomparably
greater potential of missile guidance with a human in the decision loop.
So if we compare the said two systems in those areas where it possible
(F&F based on IR), there’s not much difference when it comes to training
duration.
 
Последнее редактирование модератором:
Enforcer vs. Spike SR:

e3b.jpg e1.jpg

------------------------------------- Enforcer --------------------- Spike SR
Наведение ----------------------- F&F LOBL --------------------- F&F LOBL
Калибр ---------------------------- 86 мм ------------------------ 107 мм
Масса ----------------------------- 9+2 кг ------------------------- 9.6 кг
Дальность ------------------------ 2000 м ------------------------ 1500 м
Мин дальность ------------------- 100 м -------------------------- 50 м

Дополнительные особенности.

Spike SR.
* 3 вида БЧ (кумулятивный, осколочный, против зданий)
* полностью одноразовая.

Enforcer
* 1 универсальная БЧ с 3-мя установками взрывателя (подрыв в воздухе, импакт, задержка).
* возможность стрельбы с закрытых помещений.

https://www.mbda-systems.com/innovation/preparing-future-products-3/enforcer/
https://www.rafael.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Spike-SR.pdf
https://www.janes.com/images/assets/442/49442/shoulder-launched_weapon_systems_come_of_age.pdf

Энфорсеры работают над сокращением минимальной дистанции до 50 м, а Спайки над увеличением до 2000 м. Тогда разница по дальности исчезает.

Итого, на стороне Спайка существенно большая мощность БЧ и простота использования, на стороне Энфорсера - универсальность одной ПУ (хотя против танков он практически не годится). Ну еще существенный момент, что похоже Энфорсер толком не доделан. Никаких видео с пусками в интернете нет.
 
Мое мнение по Спайк СР, что желательно иметь 1 БЧ против зданий и пехоты с переключаемым взрывателем на задержку.
 
received_463618724230640.jpeg

Финляндия ищет новые варианты Spike:
https://corporalfrisk.com/2019/09/11/reach-out-and-touch-someone-at-40-km/

Два очень интересных момента от Eurospike GmbH:
A dual-Spike solution for the Navy could potentially be in the cards, with the Spike NLOS allowing for 30 km range currently, and “more in a few years”. There’s also “solutions for even higher ranges”, but the company won’t go into further details as to what those are.
 
Это кто такой быстрый?
ЦАМТО, 18 сентября. Израильская компания Rafael Advanced Defense Systems заключила первый контракт на поставку ПТУР «Спайк-ER2» пятого поколения для оснащения вертолетов неназванного заказчика.
Как сообщает Shephard со ссылкой на директора по маркетингу подразделения «Спайк» в Rafael Гала Папье (Gal Papier), компания рассчитывает, что заказчик разрешит раскрыть детали продажи в ближайшие несколько месяцев. На данный момент представитель Rafael отказался предоставить более подробную информацию о проекте, ссылаясь на условия конфиденциальности соглашения.
Rafael впервые презентовала ПТУР «Спайк-ER2» на выставке MSPO-2018. На тот момент к боеприпасу интерес проявили Сухопутные войска Испании, которые в настоящее время применяют ударные вертолеты «Тайгер» с более старым вариантом ракеты – «Спайк-ER». Румыния также использует версию ER на борту вертолетов «Пума».
По словам Г.Папье, обновление систем двух этих операторов новыми ракетами не представляет труда, так как версия ER2 использует тот же модуль пуска, что и ER.
Кроме того, в настоящее время Rafael ведет переговоры с Польской оружейной группой (PGZ – Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa) о возможности продажи версии ER2 для оснащения парка боевых вертолетов Ми-24. На данном этапе обсуждаются технические аспекты данного вопроса, испытания пока не проводились.
Израильская компания также достигла договоренности с General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas в Испании и производственным центром в Германии из состава консорциума Eurospike, возглавляемого Rheinmetall и Diehl, предусматривающей возможность организации производства версии ER2.
Как сообщал ЦАМТО, пуск ПТУР «Спайк-ER2» может осуществляться из существующих пусковых установок комплекса «Спайк-ER». Дальность поражения цели ракетой увеличена до 10 км при наземном пуске (8 км у «Спайк-ER») и до 16 км при запуске с вертолета. В авиационной версии оптоволоконный кабель в системе наведения заменен радиоканалом.