NAVAIR completes spike missile test with UAV target

3 February 2017

The U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division recently completed a demonstration of its developing Spike missile.During the demonstration, conducted by the Spike team in China Lake, Calif., testers were able to shoot down an “outlaw” unmanned aerial vehicle in one shot in December 2016.

“The team worked really hard to get us to the point where everything was smooth,” Spike project manager Gavin Swanson said in a press release. “Come test day, there wasn’t anything in our way.”

NAVAIR personnel tested a proximity fuze supplied by the U.S. Army. Researchers say the fuze allowed the Spike missile to either contact or proximity fuze on a target. The team tested the fuzes against two UAV targets.

The Spike missile was developed in response to operational needs during the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Due to the collateral damage associated with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and FGM-148 Javelin munitions used by infantry units, U.S. defense leadership called for a lighter missile capable of engaging unarmored and fast-moving targets.NAVAIR testers say the lighter solution is ideal for engaging enemy drones on the battlefield.

“We’ve had a notion for years that UAVs would be a problem and I think we’re well-placed to have an imminent solution to that threat,” Swanson added.