JERUSALEM, Israel (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The Israeli ministry of defence and Rafael have performed an advanced test launch of the Spike anti-tank missile from Israeli’s new Eitan armored personnel carrier (APC).
The launcher has been installed on a special remotely controlled weapons turret that enables to operate different weapon systems without the need to expose the soldiers to enemy fire.
The Eitan is being developed by the Israeli ministry of defence. The need for an 8×8 APC was realized especially after the Protective Edge operation. In that operation, the IDF used the little inventory of the Israeli made NAMER and old M-113. To increase the protection level of the old M-113 they were loaded with sand sacks.
The Eitan can travel at speeds of 55 Miles/h and that gives it a major advantage when forces must be transferred from one battle area to the other.
Eitan is powered by a 750 hp heavy fuel engine. Four of the eight wheels are steerable, enabling the vehicle to take tight turns and move on the road at a speed of 90 km/h, and maneuver in narrow roads of urban areas and off road.
The Eitan is 26 feet long and 10 feet wide. It weighs 30 tons and this weight includes the ballistic armor and the active armor systems. During the tests, two active armored systems are being evaluated, the Trophy developed by Rafael and carried by the Merkava 4 MBT and another system made by Israel military industries (IMI).
The prototypes used for testing, carry one remotely operated weapon station but production models will integrate an unmanned overhead turret armed with 12.7mm heavy machine gun and an ATK 30 mm automatic cannon.
The launch of the Rafael Spike LR is part of the integration process of this missiles and others on the Eitan.
SPIKE LR is a 4th Generation light anti-tank guided missile (13.7kg) which is mainly intended as a portable Missile system for infantry and light combat vehicles. It has a range of 4 km.
The ground launcher can be supplied in two different configurations:
-Portable configuration deployed on a light portable tripod and fired from a ground light launching system. The Launcher is carried by backpacks (Launcher backpack and SPIKE Round backpack). The application is very light and weighs 26.7 kg (ready for launch).
-In VMLS Configuration (Vehicle Mounted Launching System) the SPIKE LR Missile Weapon System is remotely controlled and integrated on to avehicles turret or weapon station. The SPIKE LR Rounds are stored and fired from a Missile Launching Pod (MLP) which is integrated to the turret / weapon station and is aligned in bore sight to a Gunner observation system.
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