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Israeli MOD orders Rafael loitering munition for IDF

By Harry Lye 04 May 2020 (Last Updated May 4th, 2020 11:21)

Israel’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) has ordered Rafael’s Spike Firefly loitering munition for use by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). The weapon is designed to provide behind-cover precision fire for dismounted personnel.

Israeli MOD orders Rafael loitering munition for IDF
Rafael SPIKE Firefly loitering munition. Image: Rafael.

Spike Firefly was developed jointly by Rafael and the Israeli MOD has been ordered for use by the IDF’s ground forces. Rafael said the system is designed for use in urban areas, where situational awareness is restricted. The system is designed to target adversaries who are behind cover when precision is needed.

Rafael executive vice-president and head of the Land & Naval Division Dr Ran Gozali said: “We are very proud of this contract, and we believe the procurement of Firefly by the IDF will dramatically revolutionise the infantry doctrines in urban close-combat, enabling precision engagement for the lower tactical echelons beyond-line-of-sight.

“This will give IDF soldiers a tactical edge in close combat. We see the Firefly as a building block in future potential applications for a large variety of battle arenas.”

Firefly is designed to be deployed quickly and is portable weighing 3kg. The system is designed for single-user operation allowing it to be carried as part of a soldier’s kit.

Firefly is controlled by a tablet, and Rafael says it features “a dual seeker, target tracker, homing algorithms, computer vision and safe and arm fusing mechanisms.” The company added that no special skills are needed to operate the loitering munition, which can function with or without a line of sight from the operator.

Rafael added: “Firefly has an abort/wave-off capability and full, safe returnability to the operator up to attack command. It can be operated day and night, and has low visual and acoustic signature.”