Rafael's SPYDER defense system evolves to shoot down ballistic missile threats

Rafael and its customers researched and analyzed the lessons learned from recent and ongoing armed conflicts involving extensive use of tactical ballistic missiles.

SPYDER quick reaction air defense system of Indian Air Force firing a Derby missile (photo credit: INDIAN AIR FORCE/EDICTGOV-INDIA/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
SPYDER quick reaction air defense system of Indian Air Force firing a Derby missile
(photo credit: INDIAN AIR FORCE/EDICTGOV-INDIA/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Rafael’s SPYDER air defense system has been upgraded to include sophisticated Counter-TBM (tactical ballistic missiles) capability.

The announcement followed research by Rafael and its customers and analysis of the lessons learned from recent and ongoing armed conflicts involving extensive use of TBMs.

Israel faces potential ballistic missile threats as does the UAE, which purchased an earlier version of SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) in September, according to reports.

The Philippines, the Czech Republic and other unidentified countries have also acquired earlier versions.

Rafael responds to questions about what was altered

Questioned about the alterations which enabled Rafael to counteract the ballistic missile threat in addition to other threats on which SPYDER was already focused, Rafael responded that “the new capability involves the Derby LR missile interceptor, which underwent both hardware and software upgrades, which were adapted according to customer requests and from lessons learned from operational events.”

SPYDER air defense missile system (credit: ERESHKIGAL1/CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)SPYDER air defense missile system (credit: ERESHKIGAL1/CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

“SPYDER’s newly upgraded capability provides a defense against ballistic missile threats and was developed with the support of Rafael’s deep operational legacy and know-how in the field of air and missile defense,” the company added.

Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Air & Missile Defense Systems Division Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Pinhas Yungman said that “Rafael is a world-leading expert in the field of missile defense, evidenced by our top-notch products, such as David’s Sling and Iron Dome.

“The addition of ballistic missile defense to SPYDER is “extremely important” and “will be offered as an option in the SPYDER’s toolbox. Under the SPYDER’s tailor-made solution paradigm, this capability will be offered as a cost-effective option to our valuable customers with respective urgent operational needs.”

Rafael said that SPYDER is the only Israeli air defense system to have been incorporated into NATO’s aerial defense array, adding that SPYDER already provided a quick reaction, low-level surface-to-air missile system.

Moreover, “the system provides effective protection of valuable assets and first-class defense for forces located in the combat area. SPYDER’s open architecture allows external components to be easily integrated and flexibly combined, affording different configurations with various ranges and capabilities based on customer needs and priorities.”