SOCOM receives first Spike NLOS system integrated on a JLTV
By Andrew Eversden on May 16, 2022 at 12:26 PM
The launch platform can be integrated onto vehicles smaller than JLTVs, Lockheed officials said, but didn't get into details.
U.S. Army soldiers conduct convoy operations during Decisive Action Rotation 20-04 at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., Feb. 11, 2020. Sgt. Nathan Franco/US Army)
SOFIC 2022: Lockheed Martin has integrated a Spike Non-Line-Of-Sight missile system onto a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and delivered it to US Special Operations Command, giving special operators a new capability in the field.
The Spike NLOS weapons system is a long-range precision munition with a range out to 32km that provides a live-video feed back to operators during flight. Lockheed has partnered with the Israeli-based company Rafael since 2012 to bring Spike to US military customers. Spike NLOS currently serves as the interim long-range precision munition for the AH-64 Apache helicopter.
In an interview with Breaking Defense after the May 10 announcement, Lockheed Martin officials said that the use of a palletized launch platform opens the door to integration onto other ground vehicles.
“It’s capable of tactical vehicles smaller than JLTV,” said Doug Borger, senior manager of precision strike business development. “I can’t specify any dimensions or anything like that, but a wide array of tactical vehicles.”
Tom Bargnesi, precision strike program manager at Lockheed, told Breaking Defense that the company built the launch platform to fit into an array of vehicles.
“If you have the bed-mounted rails on your vehicle, we designed our palletized launcher to readily adapt onto any vehicle that has that … kit on it,” Bargnesi said. “We actually demonstrated that, across a number of different vehicles in a very short amount of time, we were able to move our palletized launcher unit from a JLTV onto another vehicle onto another vehicle.”
For special operators, the integration with JLTV could provide increased situational awareness while on a mission. Lockheed Martin officials decline to specify how many Spike NLOS integrations the company was under contract for, deferring to SOCOM.
“The combination of Spike NLOS long-range and precision-strike capabilities with the JLTV superior agility will result in next-level mobility and mission effectiveness for our operators,” said Jerry Brode, vice president of close combat Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, in a statement last week. “This advanced weapon system’s real-time video imagery allows operators to alter or abort mission while en route to a target, providing users with more options in critical moments.”
Bargnesi said that Lockheed is working to make modifications to the missile system to extend the range and fit into the US battlefield network architecture.
“We are working together as a team to enhance the capabilities of the missile to meet US requirements. There are a number of things that our US customers require or would like to have,” Bargnesi said.