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Poland Selects Rafael Spike NT-S Anti-Tank Missile

Following a long evaluation process, the Ministry of Defense in Poland has selected Rafael Spike for its future anti-tank weapon. A formal announcement was made Friday, 26 July by deputy Defense Minister Janusz Zemke. The signature of the contract for the $250 million program is expected by year's end, which will also involve final tests, to be completed later this year, leading to initial deliveries in 2003. The production will span over a period of 10 years. deliveries Spike is also competing for the Army infantry anti-tank weapon in the UK.

The new decision is backing the decision made in 1997 to procure the Rafael Spike family of anti-tank missiles, including "fire and forget" man portable Spike MR (formerly designated Gill), the Spike LR "Fire and Update" fiber-optic guided derivative, with an extended range of 4 km. and the vehicle or helicopter mounted Spike ER (formerly designated NT-D) - the heavy derivative of the Spike family, capable of attacking tanks at a range of 7 kilometers.

Poland selected the Spike in the previous round of evaluations, as part of the upgrading program considered for the Huzar helicopters. However, this program was shelved after a major change in the Polish administration. The current procurement is expected to provide for the arming for infantry units as well as the Air Force's Mi-24s.

The contract is to be signed by Rafael with Polish arms manufacturer Mesko, which is already produces the Grom surface to air  missiles, tank ammunition, fuzes and small arms ammunition. Mesko will build a new manufacturing line for the missiles and according to plans, will be capable of initial deliveries by 2004. Deputy Defense Minister Zemke said the ministry had considered bids from companies in South Africa, France and Sweden but that the Israeli missiles were the "most effective, although not the cheapest."


Relevant links:
  Spike MR
  Spike LR
  Spike ER




  Updated July 28, 2002


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