Paris Air Show 2015: Rafael - Missiles For The “Narew” System, Premiere Of The I-Derby ER Missile

  • Image Credit: A. Hładij

Paris Air Show Booth of the Rafael company featured missiles that may be utilized by the new Polish “Narew” air defence system, including theDerby, Python-5 (for the SPYDER system) and Tamir (utilized in the Iron Dome system) missiles.I-Derby ER missile was a novelty presented by the Israeli company. Its range is said to reach 100 km.The missile is to be compatible with all of the aircraft that were capable of carrying the previous generation of the Derby missiles and with the SPYDER-SR anti-aircraft system.Rafael also presented an anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence system command centre – MIC4AD.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is one of the nine companies involved in the technical dialogue related to the “Narew” programme. Its booth featured systems that may be offered in the Polish tender, namely, the SPYDER and Iron Dome systems.

Due to the fact that no technical requirements for the “Narew” programme are known publicly, the representatives of the Rafael company did not want to indicate any specific solutions that could be proposed for the Polish Armed Forces. However, an option of connecting the solutions utilized by both the SPYDER, as well as by the Iron Dome system, is being considered. Rafael also declares that the company would carry out an investment, the aim of which would be to support the Polish industry, similarly as it happened in case of the Spike ATGW.

Python 5 and I-Derby ER missiles. Image credit: A. Hładij/

SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) is a short and medium range air-defence system based on the Python 5 or on the Derby missiles. It is manufactured in two variants: SR, with a range of up to 15 km at altitudes of up to 9 km and MR, with a range of 35 km and intercept altitude of up to 16 km. The missiles are electro-optically- or IR-guided (in case of the Python 5 missile), alternatively an active radar guidance system may be applied (in case of the Derby missile based on the Python 4 weapon). The new I-Derby ER missiles are also going to be integrated with the Spyder-SR system. This type of a missile is equipped with a new, lighter guidance warhead, along with an advanced SDR radar (Software Defined Radar) based on the technology utilized in the Tamir missiles used by the Iron Dome air defence suite. The missile has a dual-mode propelling system that makes it possible to accelerate its flight, particularly at the moment when the missile is approaching its target.

The Rafael booth also featured an Iron Dome battery. This system was successfully applied during the fights in Liban and in the Gaza Strip area. So far, the Iron Dome recorded 1700 successful intercepts, with effectiveness estimated at the level of 90%, by the Israeli Air Force. At the same time, the maintenance and missile costs are relatively low. The Iron Dome system is based on Tamir interceptor missiles that are capable of acting against short range rockets, artillery and mortar projectiles, fired from a distance of 4 to 70 kilometres.

Rafael additionally presented MiC4AD (Modular, Integrated C4 Air & Missile System) command centre within its booth. MIC4AD makes it possible to control and command air defence systems and to command air operations, the aim of which is to obtain air supremacy. Thanks to the fact that the system obtains data from numerous sensors and platforms, including radars, IFF systems or electro-optical observation tools, the MIC4AD centre is capable of preparing threat assessment in real time and of properly classifying the targets. The system also makes it possible to create the plans, the goal of which would be to neutralize those targets, both on the strategic, as well as on the tactical level. MIC4AD command system is compatible with the Rafael air defence suites such as the David Sling, SPYDER or Iron Dome, however it may be easily tailored to cooperate with other anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems available within the market.

Andrzej Hładij