“SPYDER” | Multi-layered air defence by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems
Defence Redefined
Published on 05/01/2022 at 19:00

The SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) air defence missile system was developed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and can incorporate features (e.g. radar) from other Israeli companies such as Elta Systems of Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI).

The SPYDER system can engage aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and precision-guided munitions such as cruise missiles and stand-off weapons. 

The system provides air defence for fixed assets and for point and area defence for mobile forces within a range of 20 to 80 km depending on the version.

The SPYDER launcher is designed to fire PYTHON-5 and I-DERBY surface-to-air missiles, which can also be launched from aircraft.

The PYTHON-5 missile features a dual-band Imaging Infrared (IIR) detector, while the I-DERBY has an active radar detector (active BVR).

A typical SPYDER squadron consists of:

  • A Command and Control Unit (CCU) mounted on a wheeled vehicle;
  • A radar which is either self-propelled (in the SPYDER-SR – Short-Range – and ER – Extended Range – versions, it is on the same vehicle as the CCU) or towed in the SPYDER-MR (Medium Range) and LR (Long Range) versions. The system has an open architecture and allows the integration of various radar sensors e.g. the Elta EL / M 2106 ATAR 3D surveillance radar;
  • 3-6 Mobile Firing Units (MFU) with integrated electro-optical sensor (EOS), TopLite, and 4 missiles (in any combination with PYTHON-5 and I-DERBY);
  • Missile supply vehicles.

© Rafael Advanced Defense Systems

The slant missile launching method, SPYDER-SR and SPYDER-ER feature a 360° operation, lock-on-before-launch (LOBL) or lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) capabilities for high kill probability at short distances with a range between 20 km (SR version) and up to 40 km (ER version).

The SPYDER-MR and SPYDER-LR offer target interception in medium (up to 40 km) and long-range (80 km) respectively via almost vertical launch. The maximum interception height is about 20,000 meters (LR version).

© Rafael Advanced Defense Systems

Also read: IRIS-T SLM GBAD system | Egypt’s choice to boost air defence – PHOTOS & VIDEO

The SPYDER systems feature all-weather day and night as well as advanced electronic counter-countermeasure (ECCM) capabilities. 

The Czech Ministry of Defence recently signed an agreement for the acquisition of the SPYDER-MR with Elta AESA ELM-2084 Multi-Mission Radars (MMRs), at a total cost of $ 627 million, so as to replace 4 2K12 KUB artillery squadrons of Soviet origin.

It is noted that the BUK system version, which is also in service with the National Guard (BUK M1-2), was the replacement of the KUB system.

Shot 2K12M KYB of the Czech Republic / © 25th Air Defense Missile Regiment

With information from: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems,

Also read: I-Dome | The innovative, mobile version of Iron Dome




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