H145M helo improved its HForce, firing 5th-Gen Spike ER2 missile

BUCHAREST, ($1=4.32 Romanian Leus) — European helicopter maker Airbus Helicopters is working to expand the capabilities of its HForce mission package for the H145M military helicopter. According to the company, the first tests for the integration of Rafael’s Spike ER2 guided missile have begun at the Cincu firing range in Romania. Spike ER2 weighs about 35 kg and is designed for combat ranges up to ten kilometers.

H145M helo improved HForce WS, firing 5th-Gen Spike ER2 missile
Photo credit: YouTube

As part of the so-called risk-taking phase, initial investigations were conducted in January to assess the effects of the rocket’s launch on the helicopter. The next step is to integrate the Spike anti-tank missile into the helicopter’s HForce system.

Equipped with the HForce system, the H145M is now capable of using a 12.7 mm machine gun, a 20 mm cannon, and laser-guided and unguided missiles up to 70 mm caliber.

So far, H145M users are Hungary [20 machines], Germany [15], Serbia [9], Thailand [5], and Luxembourg [2]. According to Airbus Helicopters, the machine will also be offered to the Romanian Armed Forces by long-term local partner IAR.

Spike ER2 missile

H145M helo improved its HForce, firing 5th-Gen Spike ER2 missile
Photo credit: Wikipedia

SPIKE ER2 is a precision anti-tank / anti-ship missile with an extended range. If it is launched from the ground, its range reaches 10 km, while if it is launched from a helicopter, its range is increased to 16 km.

SPIKE ER2 is also a fifth-generation anti-tank missile. A controlled missile with integrated infrared and high-resolution day sensors. The missile has a multi-spectral target tracker that allows for sensor data fusion.

The entire missile system weighs nearly 34 kg. Apart from being usable on land, air, and sea, its objectives define it as anti-tank, anti-ship, anti-structural, and anti-personnel.

SPIKE warheads

The Tandem HEAD warhead [derived from the acronym high-explosive anti-tank – HEAT], means that the warhead is made up of two shaped charges. Ie it is a shaped charge that focuses on the effect of the energy generated by the explosion. In this case, the two officer charges are respectively a precursor warhead for detonating each explosive jet armor and a primary warhead for penetrating the main armor.

India buys 84mm AT4 anti-tank system with tandem warhead
Photo credit: Wikipedia

This type of charge is effective on armored vehicles, mainly tanks. The action of the two formed charges is as follows: the first charge causes very little damage to the armor, only piercing it, thus leaving a channel through the jet armor into which the second charge penetrates and detonates, causing damage to the armor.

Fuse-control warhead is activated near the target before hitting it. This is due to the fuse, whose job is at the right time to activate the warhead mechanism.

Characteristic of this type of warhead, in addition to the fuse and the way of activation, is the type of explosive. It is very often a powerful insensitive explosive, which is initiated only by the heat and energy of the primary explosion.

HForce weapon system

HForce is a smart modular and incremental weapon system developed by Airbus. The system can be integrated into various attacking helicopters, offering options and choices of weapons – air-to-air, air-to-ground missiles, ballistic or recoverable missiles, cannon, machine gun bombs, and more.

In reality, HForce is a computer system that, in addition to assisting with the use of weapons, offers calculation and modification of recoil, a center of gravity, and clearance. It consists of a central computer computing core for shooting, sight, pilot helmet display, electronic target identification system, and for shooting, ballistic and controllable weapon capsules for different types of weapons.

HForce weapon system includes 20mm cannon, 12q7mm machine gun, from 68 to 70mm rockets. The rockets can be laser-guided, air-to-air, or air-to-ground missiles with growth potential.


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