The Rafael SPIKE Firefly Story

The SPIKE "Firefly" is a compact, one-operator drone developed by Rafael Israel for urban warfare support. It's part of the SPIKE Precision Guided Missile family and offers key qualities such as portability, reliability, and durability. This drone is used by around 39 military operators globally, including special forces. It's controlled by a lightweight Control Unit (CU) and can be used for reconnaissance missions as well.

The Firefly drone has a distinctive design with three parts and two propellers, and it's electric-powered with a relatively short battery life of 15 minutes (or 30 minutes without a warhead). It's highly maneuverable and suitable for close-support infantry missions. The drone is equipped with cameras, infrared sensors, and the capability to target both stationary and moving objects day and night.

In combat scenarios, the Firefly plays a vital role by providing aerial support, reducing risks for ground troops. Its explosive payload can be detached, and it has an effective range of about 1,000 meters in open areas, which is halved to 500 meters in urban environments. This drone can reach speeds of up to 45 mph during sharp turns, making it a versatile and valuable asset on the battlefield.

Rafael SPIKE Firefly Spec

BASICS

Year of Service: 2020

Origins: Israel

Status: Active.

Crew: 0

Production: 500

Manufacturer: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd - Israel

Carrier: Israel

Roles

Ground attack (bombing, strafing)

The ability to conduct air strikes against ground targets using (but not limited to) artillery, bombs, rockets, rockets, etc.

Special Mission: Search and Rescue (SAR)

Ability to locate and evacuate personnel from potentially hazardous or dangerous areas, such as downed pilots at sea.

Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR), reconnaissance

Monitor ground targets/target areas to assess surrounding threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.

Special Forces

Serve special forces/special operations forces and missions.

Unmanned

Aircraft designed (or later developed) have inherent unmanned capabilities and can fill a variety of battlefield roles.

Notable Features

Vertical Takeoff/Landing (VTOL)

The series has the tactical capability of vertical take-off and/or landing, a characteristic usually associated with helicopters.

All Electric

The design uses an all-electric powerplant for propulsion.

Coaxial main rotor

The twin main rotors are assembled coaxially, negating the traditional torque neutralizing tail rotor unit.

Sturdy aircraft frame

The inherent ability of the airframe to take significant damage.

Unmanned operation

The design features the ability to fly without a pilot, with actions controlled by onboard programming and/or ground operators.

Autonomous operation

The design features autonomous flight operations through artificial intelligence or onboard pre-programming.

Camera equipment

Payload supports photographic devices that provide still and/or live image/video results.

Dimensions and Weight

Length: 4.3 feet (1.31m)

Cured weight: 4 lbs (2kg)

MTOW: 7 lbs (3kg)

Wgt Difference: +2 lbs (+1 kg)

Performance

Installed: 1 electric motor (battery powered) drives 2 coaxially arranged twin blade propeller units.

Maximum speed: 43 km/h (70 km/h | 38 knots)

Cruising speed: 37 km/h (60 km/h | 32 knots)

Maximum speed difference: +6 km/h (+10 km/h | 5 kn)

Maximum: 492 feet (150 m | 0 km)

Weapons

Fragmentation warheads.

VARIANTS

SPIKE Firefly - The name of the base series.

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