Israel’s missile pioneer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is showcasing the latest version of its multipurpose guided missile – Spike LR II. Company executives define the new variant as the first “fifth generation” guided missile, for its ability to adapt to and defeat different types of targets and countermeasures, including active protection.

Spike-LR II is smarter, sharper and more agile than its predecessors, but is designed to operate from the same launchers used for Spike MR and LR, enabling users to modernize and gain more firepower without investing in new logistics and infrastructure. Rafael offers a new, lightweight launcher that enables light helicopters to carry four such missiles, which can defeat main battle tanks, vehicles or bunkers from 6.2 mi. (10 km).

The new missile uses a new, passive and uncooled multiband seeker that integrates both thermal and high-definition color imagery, increasing the weapon’s target acquisition and tracking efficiency even against complex and evasive targets. The new seeker features a smart target tracker using artificial intelligence features.

Designed for use against elusive targets with low signature, Spike LR II has an embedded inertial measurement unit, allowing the missile to pursue targets or grid coordinates allocated by remote source. This function is useful for “lock on after launch” or when engaging “disappearing targets,” when the launching platform does not have visual identification of the target.

Rafael offers the missile with a choice of two warheads – an anti-tank missile optimized with an enhanced tandem charge that increases armor penetration by 30% over the previous generation. Another advantage of the new missile is its ability to strike at higher impact angles – Spike LR II will be able to hit targets at up to 70 degrees, delivering more lethal top attack profile.

The second type is the multipurpose version, provided with a different tandem warhead using multiple fusing presets designed to defeat light or fortified targets. The variable fusing enables the operator to set the fuse to penetrate a target or explode on impact. Designed to operate as a penetrating warhead, the missile’s warhead would breach a small hole through reinforced concrete, for the main charge to follow through.

Rafael plans to deliver the weapon to operational units by the end of 2018.