By Arie Egozi
Rafael has recently demonstrated the operational advantages of a miniature electro-optical tactical loitering munition, designed for light maneuvering ground forces such as infantry, Marines or special Forces.
FireFly is also known as the SPIKE-FireFly, a new variant of Rafael’s SPIKE Family Precision Guided Missiles.
As such, the FireFly features a dual seeker, target tracker, homing algorithms, computer vision, Safe & Arm fusing mechanisms, and HMI (Human –Machine – Interface). These features served as a basis for the development of the FireFly and the tailoring of the weapon system to its unique mission profile of urban combat.
According to Gal Papier head of marketing in Rafael’s precision tactical weapons department, FireFly was designed for the dismounted soldier fighting within the urban arena where situation awareness is limited, the enemy is behind cover, and precision is critical.
“FireFly eliminates the value of cover and with it, the necessity of long-drawn-out firefights. It will also make obsolete the old infantry tactic of firing and maneuvering to eliminate an enemy hiding behind cover”. Papier said.
He added that the impact of FireFly on the Infantry is revolutionary, fundamentally changing small Infantry tactics.
The FireFly weapon system kit includes 3 miniature LMs (Loitering Munitions) and a CU (Control Unit) based on a ruggedized tablet with a military standard bidirectional data link.
FireFly round weighs only 3 kg and is rapidly deployed within seconds. It is portable, durable and includes a rugged airframe withstanding the harsh environment of urban combat. Its single-user operation is designed for the dismounted soldier – light, small, and agile.
The operation of FireFly is very intuitive, with no special skills required. The Firefly enables overmatch to break combat deadlock, and has a lethal effect on stationary and moving targets with or without line-of-sight to operator.
FireFly can be operated day and night, and has low visual and acoustic signature.