September 8, 2009: An Israeli firm has introduced a new, lighter, guided missile system, the Mini-Spike, designed for company and platoon size units to use as a precision attack weapon. Weighing 12 kilograms (26.4 pounds) and intended to be operated by one man. The guidance system is "fire and forget (the missile operator uses the command unit to identify target before launch). The system consists of a command and launch unit (CLU), for target acquisition and wireless control for the missile, and individual missiles in firing containers. A soldier typically will carry the command unit weighing 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) and two missiles in canisters weighing 4 kilograms each. If needed, accessories such as a tripod may be used. The missile warhead is designed to cause injuries and destroy structures, not penetrate armor.
Targets out to 1,200 meters can be hit pinpoint accuracy. Operators can choose the angle from which the missile will attack. The high angle feature is particularly useful as it can be used against troops hiding behind a building or wall. A video playback option is featured on the targeting monitor, which can also be detached from the canister for use as an observation device.
The physical profile of the missile resembles a slender rod with a rounded bulbous nose leading back to four large fins then four small rectangular fins just behind that. The canister is a long slender rectangle with the squared command sight unit attached at the front offset to the left. If need be, the sight may also be used with previous Spike family launchers.
Some comparable missile systems include the U.S Javelin weighing 18.2 kilograms (40 pounds) had having an Anti Tank warhead with 2,500 meter range. The French-Canadian ERYX weighing 13 Kilograms (29 pounds), also has an Anti Tank warhead with a 600 meter range. Spike is also a lot cheaper than the $75,000 Javelin, or any other existing ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile). Israel is flexible on pricing, especially with the Spike line of missiles. -- Mike Perry