In a significant advancement for U.S. military capabilities, Lockheed Martin has successfully completed a series of live fire tests for the Spike NLOS missile system, using the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter. Conducted at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, this event marks a pivotal step towards the full integration of this advanced missile system into the U.S. Army’s arsenal.
Over a span of five days, eight Spike NLOS missiles were launched from the AH-64E Apache, demonstrating the system’s readiness for operational deployment. This successful demonstration leads to the Airworthiness Release (AWR) of the Spike NLOS system for the U.S. Apache fleet, signaling a new era in precision strike capabilities for the U.S. Army.
Tom Bargnesi, a senior manager at Lockheed Martin, emphasized the significance of this integration. “The Spike NLOS system represents a cutting-edge solution for modern warfare, offering unmatched precision and reliability. Its integration into the Apache fleet enhances our defense capabilities in complex combat scenarios,” he stated.
The demonstration highlighted the versatility of the Spike NLOS missile, showcasing its ability to engage various targets in different operational scenarios. This test is one of the final stages before the system receives AWR, allowing the Army to commence equipping its Apache V6 helicopters with the Spike NLOS system.
Looking ahead, Lockheed Martin plans to collaborate with the Army in mid-2024 to train pilots on utilizing the Spike NLOS system on the Apache V6 platforms. The goal is to have the system fully operational on all 18 Apache Echo Model V6 helicopters by September 2024.
About the Spike NLOS
The Spike NLOS is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose missile system equipped with electro-optical/infrared sensors. Its advanced rocket motor enables it to engage targets up to 60 kilometers away. The system’s versatility allows for integration across various platforms, including ground, air, and maritime units. Its long-range capability is particularly advantageous for engaging targets that are distant or hidden from direct line of sight.
A key feature of the Spike NLOS is its seeker and wireless datalink, which provide real-time video feedback and man-in-the-loop control during flight. This allows operators to adjust the missile’s trajectory or abort the mission if necessary, ensuring maximum flexibility and precision.
Lockheed Martin, in partnership with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., offers this combat-proven system to U.S. forces and has already seen service with six international countries. The integration of the Spike NLOS onto the AH-64E Apache represents a significant enhancement in the U.S. Army’s combat capabilities.