Rafael’s SPYDER!

RAFALE'S SPYDER - AviatorsBuzz
(Source: Wiki)

Spyder (Surface-to-Air Python & Derby Air Defence System) is a quick reaction, mobile surface-to-air missile system to counter attacks by aircraft, helicopters UAVs and precision guided munitions. The system provides effective protection of valuable assets as well as first-class defence for manoeuvring forces in the combat area. The system is capable of search-on- the-move fire within short halt. Spyder incorporates Rafael’s most advanced air-to-air missiles, the I-Derby active radar (RF) missile and Python-5, a dual waveband Imaging Infra Red (IIR) missile. The Spyder family includes Spyder- SR (Short Range), Spyder ER (Extended Range), Spyder-MR (Medium Range) and Spyder LR (Long Range) systems. Python 5 and Derby are in service in the IAF as part of the Spyder LLQRM programme and as air-to-air missiles on the LCA. These missiles and their advanced versions will be part of future air-to-air and air defence programmes in the Indian Air Force and the Army. Both missiles can potentially be integrated on LCA, Hawk, Su-30 or any other combat aircraft in the IAF. 

The truck-mounted Command and Control Unit (CCU) comprises surveillance radar with advanced ECCM capabilities that can simultaneously track multiple targets. Wireless data link communication enables deployment of the MFUs at a distance from the CCU. The CCU can operate with neighbouring Spyder air defence batteries and share information with higher echelons. This interoperability provides the Spyder air defence system with high flexibility in combat situations. The CCU is capable of search-on-the-move fire within short halt. Spyder’s highly modular structure also allows easy adaptation to customer platforms and future growth. Its truckmounted Missile Firing Units (MFU) are equipped with both IIR and RF missiles. The MFU carries any combination (IIR/ RF) of missiles on a launcher assembly. Spyder has 360° day/night all-weather engagement capability, the system can also engage multiple threats simultaneously. It has Lock-On-Before Launch (LOBL) and Lock-On-After Launch (LOAL) modes of operation. With a shared operational approach and technologies, a mix of Spyder family elements can be deployed together for significant advantages such as SR/MR launchers, embedded Radar/External radar.


Spyder-SR provides all-weather, network centric, self-propelled, multi-launch, short-range air defence. The system enables 360° missile launching within less than five seconds of the target being declared hostile by the system. Spyder-SR features Rafael’s advanced air-to-air missiles, the Derby Active Radar missile and Python-5, a sophisticated dual-waveband Imaging Infra Red (IIR) missile. Spyder ER, uses the same launching system with advanced version of RF Missile, Derby MK III, the system more than doubles the range and altitude.

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Nitin Konde is a freelance journalist with an experience of more than a decade. Being a freelancer, he has covered various domains in his field such as Sports, Biotechnology, Defence etc. and has been associated with brands like The Times of India, Vayu Aerospace and Defence Review Magazines. Since the last three years he has been focusing and writing extensively on the defence sector, he is here to share his expertise with our readers on AviatorsBuzz.