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US Army Apache destroys boat 32 kilometers away in latest Spike missile test

Apache helicopter with Spike missiles
Photo: US Army

A US Army AH-64E Apache helicopter has completed another test of the newly-acquired Spike missile in a demonstration last month.

The 96th Test Wing squadron at Eglin Air Force base was responsible for planning and executing the maritime (over water) demonstration of the non-line-of-sight, multi-purpose weapon using the Army’s AH-64E Apache helicopter.

During the test, the Apache launched the Spike from 32 kilometers away and scored a direct hit on a stationary vessel. Another planned flight that included a strike on a moving target was cancelled due to weather.

“We were excited to test a new weapon system here at Eglin,” said Amanda Hargett, 780th TS test engineer. “Our team worked closely with the Army to make sure everything went smoothly and the demonstration was successful.”

Based on the success of testing, the Spike NLOS will serve as an interim solution to the gap in precision targeting at extended ranges. The weapon can strike targets four times further than the Apache’s current carried munitions. It also serves a dual purpose in informing the requirements for Army Aviation’s enduring standoff weapon, the Long-Range Precision Munition.

While it is an interim solution, the Spike is considered a likely candidate in the Long-Range Precision Munition program that will equip the Army’s two future helicopters being developed as part of the US Army’s future vertical lift (FVL) ecosystem. The two manned helicopters are being selected under the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competitions.

The service intends to stage an LRPM shoot off in 2022, before issuing a request for whitepapers by early 2023.