Wednesday, February 21, 2024

US Army to equip its Apache with Spike NLOS missiles

Lockheed Martin, in collaboration with the U.S. Army, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully firing eight Spike NLOS All Up Rounds (AURs) from the U.S. Apache Echo Model V6 attack helicopter at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

This live fire event marks the clearance of the Spike NLOS Long Range Precision Munitions Directed Requirement (LRPM DR) system for Airworthiness Release (AWR) for the U.S. Apache platform, allowing integration onto the U.S. Army’s current Apache V6 platforms.

Tom Bargnesi, program management senior manager of the Precision Strike team at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, highlighted the readiness of the Spike NLOS for integration onto the Army’s Apache fleet, emphasizing its pivotal role in delivering precise defense capabilities.

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“This successful demonstration of Spike NLOS showcases that the system is ready to be integrated onto the Army’s current Apache fleet and provides a premier defense capability of choice when precision and accuracy matter,” said Tom Bargnesi, program management senior manager of the Precision Strike team at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The AWR allows delivery of 21st century security solutions to our Army customer for complex threat environments.”

The live demonstration showcased the Spike NLOS AURs’ firing capabilities from the Apache platform across various mission scenarios, validating the system’s versatility and performance. This successful event marks the final phase for the system to receive AWR, enabling the Army to commence equipping Spike NLOS onto its Apache V6 platforms.

Lockheed Martin plans to collaborate with the Army in mid-2024 to train pilots for the utilization of the system on the Apache V6 platforms. The Army aims to complete the integration of the Spike NLOS LRPM DR system onto all 18 Apache Echo Model V6 platforms by September 2024.

The Israeli-developed Spike-NLOS missile, reportedly used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since 1981, was a covert asset, publicly acknowledged only years later. Its latest iteration, the fifth-generation version, boasts an extended range of 20 miles compared to the earlier 15 and a half miles, drawing attention for its advanced capabilities.

A standout feature of the Spike-NLOS system is its guidance system, offering both fixed target strikes at designated coordinates and a sophisticated “man-in-the-loop” mode. Operators can make real-time adjustments during the missile’s terminal phase via a video feed from an infrared camera in the weapon’s nose, providing unique operational flexibility.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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