Spain Orders Spike ER Missiles for its Tiger Attack Helicopters

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On November 30th the Spanish government approved the MOD decision to equip the new Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters with Spike ER missiles, signing an acquisition contract valued €44 million. The missiles will be delivered through 2012. The contract calls for the manufacture of 44 launchers and 200 missiles for the HAD Tiger helicopters as well as integrated logistic support (ILS).

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The Spanish decision was motivated by the missile's asymmetric warfare versatility, including high precision, and capability to engage targets in urban environment, based on the system's accuracy, man-in-the-loop fiber-optic 'fire and update' capability, an optional mission abort even at the terminal phase, and the availability of penetration, blast fragmentation warhead, maximizing effect on target while minimizing the risk of collateral damage. The missiles will be delivered under cooperation between General Dynamics Santa Barbara and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, signed in 2006 for the delivery of 2,600 Spike LR missiles under a €324 million contract to equip Spanish ground forces. The current work share between teh parties was reversed, with Santa Barbara getting 40% of the contract while RAFAEL will get 60%. Before selecting the Spike ER the Spanish forces considered Lockheed Martin's Hellfire II selected by the French and Australian armies and MBDA's Trigat LR, opted by the German Army.

The Spanish contract is a breakthrough for RAFAEL not only for its commercial value but since represents the first publicly released application of the Spike as an airborne armmament.

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