An anti-tank exercise by soldiers of the VIII Bandera 'Colón' in Viator

The complete sequence of the launch of a Spike LR missile by Spanish legionnaires

Since the withdrawal of MILAN, the Spanish Army's portable anti-tank missile is the Rafael Spike LR, a model of Israeli origin.

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Since 2009, the Spanish Army has received 236 launchers and more than 2,300 missiles of the LR1 or LR-Dual model. Last year the purchase of the new Spike LR2 version was announced, with 168 launchers and 1,680 missiles. The Spike LR1 is a IR-guided missile and has a range of 4,000 meters. The missile has a weight of 14 kg and the launcher (consisting of a tripod, a battery and an integrated Launch Control Unit, iCLU) weighs about 30 kg. The Spanish Army missiles were manufactured in Spain by Santa Bárbara Sistemas and Tecnobit, with software in Spanish.

Like other similar missiles, such as the famous Javelin, the Spike's warhead carries two tandem high-explosive (HEAT) charges . The goal of the first charge is to knock out the reactive armor plates found on many armored vehicles today. The second charge penetrates the shell of the vehicle to its interior. The Spike LR can pierce armor over 700mm thick. The missile also has a multi-purpose (MP) variant that can be configured to attack bunkers or as a personnel fragmentation weapon.

The Youtube channel of the Spanish Legion has published an interesting video today in which he shows the complete launching sequence of a Spike LR missile by legionnaires of the VIII Bandera "Colón" of the Tercio "Don Juan de Austria" 3rd of the Legion, an exercise carried out in the Maneuver Field and Tiro (CIT) "Álvarez de Sotomayor", located next to the Legion base in Viator (Almería):

Here are some details of the launch sequence. Here we see the anti-tank team, equipped with Ghillie suits to better blend in with the terrain. The soldier on the left is carrying a camouflaged Heckler & Koch G-36E assault rifle with a telescopic sight and equipped with Picatinny rails on its forend.

A few moments before the shot. The front of the missile is visible in the launcher tube.

The missile exiting the launcher at the time of firing. It still has folded fins.

Another image of the moment of firing. On the back of the launcher we can see the muzzle flash caused by the launch motor, a solid fuel rocket.

The missile is out of the tube. It has just deployed its guide fins and the launch motor is still running on its back. In this image we can also see the guide cable that connects the launcher and the missile, through bidirectional fiber optics.

Once in the air, the flight engine is turned on, located in the front half of the missile and emitting two jets of propulsion at its sides.

The missile's camera sends the image of the target to the launcher moments before it was hit. In this case, it is an old M-60A3 Patton tank that was used by the Army and is now used as a target for target practice. The vehicle is already pretty much wrecked.

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