Through the Navy, the Pentagon has developed the world’s smallest guided missile, the Spike. It weighs a mere five pounds, is only 25 inches long and could allow the military to reduce collateral damage without degrading defensive capabilities. Expect to see these loaded on drones taking off from the decks of aircraft carriers to combat fast boats and other non-traditional threats. Wired’s Allen McDuffee breaks down the Spike here.
While most defense contractors are designing drones to accommodate the already-existing larger weapons, the Navy has taken the opposite approach with Spike, a five-pound, 25-inch mini-munition which it likes to call “the world’s smallest guided missile.”
Relying on commercial-off-the-shelf components such as cellphone camera technology, Spike can be launched from the air or the ground and is being developed so it can even be shoulder-fired.
And at sea, it can fill a particular gap against the increasing threat of small boat swarms, the fast attack craft (FAC) and fast inshore attack craft (FIAC), according to the Navy.
“With a number of targets coming at you, there’s potential for some to get through,” said Greg Wheelock, a Navy Weapons Division technical lead, in a statement. “Spike is a good option for taking out those leakers. It’s not going to blow those boats out of the water but it can take the boat out of commission.”
“What we lack in warhead size is compensated for in accuracy, and we have the ability to put that charge where it will have the most effect,” he said.