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Apache AH-64E fires Spike long-range missiles

8th December 2023 - 10:11 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The Apache AH-64E has taken a step closer to receiving clearance to use the Spike NLoS missile. (Photo: US Army, Technology Development Directorate – Aviation)

The Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Spike, a multi-purpose EO missile system, can attack targets at ranges up to 25km and has been test-fired from an Apache AH-64E attack helicopter.

Lockheed Martin and the US Army have demonstrated the integration of Rafael Spike non-line-of-sight (NLoS) multi-purpose, EO missile system with Boeing Apache AH-64E V6 as part of the process to achieve Airworthiness Release (AWR) to meet Long Range Precision Munitions Directed Requirement (LRPM DR).

The integration was proven through the firing of Spike all-up rounds at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona over the space of five days.

The demonstration featured eight Spike NLOS AURs firing from an Apache platform at a variety of targets, showcasing the system’s different mission set capabilities across multiple scenarios. It marked one of the final steps for the system to receive AWR and allow the Army to begin fielding Spike NLOS onto its Apache V6 platforms.

In mid-2024, Lockheed Martin will work with the Army to train pilots to use the system on the Apache V6 platforms. The Army said it expected the Spike NLOS LRPM DR system to be fully integrated onto all 18 Apache Echo Model V6 platforms by September 2024.

Shephard reported in January that the firing of two missiles had already occurred and noted that testing was set to begin to qualify the design for AWR and once that is awarded, the system will be scheduled to be fielded on the US Army’s AH-64E V6 fleet by September 2024.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, the US Army has plans to acquire 791 AH-64Es (a combination of new and remanufactured aircraft) to fulfil its attack helicopter requirements. The service has the intention to sustain the Apache fleet through to 2040.

The Shephard News Team


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