As the military relies more and more on unmanned aerial vehicles to carry out pinpoint strikes, the services need smaller munitions to arm them.
And that’s where Spike comes in. Weighing 5 pounds, this mini-missile developed by the Navy is many, many times lighter than the 100-pound Hellfires typically carried by UAVs — but still packs a precision punch. Scott O’Neil, who is overseeing its development, calls Spike “the world’s smallest guided missile.”
“Most of our weapons are fairly large because they’re taking out very big targets,” O’Neil, the executive director of Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, told Navy Times in a Feb. 12 phone interview. “We’ve started looking at, with miniaturization of electronics, what does that mean to weaponry? How small can we make weapons and keep them effective against the targets that we’re talking about?”