MILMAG Defence & Space 02/2020 »

MILMAG - The Military MagazineThe Defense Forces are learning to use the Spike LR anti-tank system - MILMAG - The Military Magazine

The Defense Forces are learning to use the Spike LR anti-tank system

Estonian MoD’s press release

The Defense Forces of the 1st Infantry Brigade's anti-tank company and support army are studying the operation of the long-range missile system Spike LR in the town of Jõhvi under the guidance of the instructors of the Israeli factory Rafael.

Photo by: Estonian MoD

"Already today, when the first intermediate tests have taken place, we can confirm that Estonian anti-tankers are very committed students and at the end of the course they are ready to train their soldiers to be good anti-tank system operators," said the Rafael factory instructors who developed the system and added. Training in Estonia is also an opportunity for them to learn. “Operating in snowy conditions is a new experience for us, and Estonia's largely flat and forested landscape is very different from what we are used to. We have also learned from your anti-tank experiences with other systems.”

Major Dmitry Kondratenko, the head of the anti-tank company, said that although the system seems complicated at first glance, it will become clear quite quickly. "In addition to the weapon system, we have introduced simulators for both indoor and outdoor learning and skills consolidation, where our soldiers can hone their knowledge and skills in the course starting in February. The system itself is very capable - it is modern, it allows you to shoot longer distances using different techniques such as the let-forget principle, change the target and shoot a target that is not in line of sight.”

The effective range of the Spike LR (long range) anti-tank missile system starts at 200 meters and can target targets up to 4 kilometers away. The Spike missile has a so-called shoot-adjust capability, e.g. the missile's target point can be changed to hit an armor behind a corner or a hill, for example. A wonderfully fine optical cable is used to control the rocket, which makes it very difficult to electronically jam the rocket. The Spike missile does not use a laser beam or other active means to locate the target, which would allow the armor to detect the missile and use active defenses to defend itself.

In total, 32 countries around the world use Spike's various systems, 19 of which are members of the European Union and NATO.

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