(December 11, 2007) -- The Spanish Government has released the following announcement:
"Cabinet Meeting summary of the Spanish Government of the 30/11/2007 AGREEMENT that authorize the signature of the acquisition contract for the Spike-ER Air-Land missiles systems for the Tiger helicopter by a global amount of 44.027.963 Euro, to distribute among the exercises 2007-2012."
The GD Santa Barbara and Rafael deal is a follow up on last year's contract signed by the two companies for the supply of Spike Missiles to the ground forces.
The SPIKE-ER, 4th Generation Multi-Purpose Missile for Helicopters, is equipped with a fiber-optic bi-directional data link that allows the gunner to watch the video taken by the missile seeker before and in-flight. The gunner is also able to steer the missile using that video. It is as if the gunner is riding the missile to the target.
The SPIKE-ER has the following unique capabilities:
- Very high hit probability at all ranges (400m up to 8000m) - The probability that the missile will hit a non-target area or will miss the target by short distance and will hurt innocent people is very low. Fighting in urban terrain, the enemy tanks or targets might be inside a town. Using the SPIKE-ER ensures that only the enemy target would take the hit.
- Extremely high accuracy (very small CEP) - It's not just that the missile hits the target it should, but it hits precisely where the gunner wants the missile to hit. For example, if the target is a room from which terrorists are firing, the SPIKE-ER would hit precisely where needed, therefore nearly eliminating the risk of hitting another room.
- PBF - Recently developed, the PBF (Penetration, Blast and Fragmentation) version of the SPIKE-ER penetrates the target and only then explodes. Thus, the collateral damage outside the target is minimized even more. Following the scenario discussed above, the missile penetrates the wall while reducing the risk to innocent bystanders to a minimum.
- Abort mission after launch- While in the air, the missile transmits the video image through the fiber optic link to the gunner. When the missile approaches the target, the image gets clearer. At that stage, the gunner might realize that the target he is aiming at is not a legitimate target. In that case, he may steer the missile to an empty point causing no damage.