There are reports in the media about the new Cruise Missiles Select Precision Effects At Range Electronic Warfare (SPEAR-EW), jointly developed by Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia (MBDA) and Leonardo. The new cruise missile is supposed to be equipped primarily with fighters of the 4th and 5th generation. According to the plan, the air-to-surface missile will be capable of deceiving the detection systems of modern anti-aircraft missile defenses. The range of the missile will be 140 km, its mass will be 100 kg. The main feature of the new weapon will be the possibility of interaction with another missile SPEAR-3 in a fully networked mode.
In this tandem, SPEAR-EW will have to distract, cheat, or block detection tools, while SPEAR-3 will search for and destroy all the important components of the enemy’s air defense and missile defense. SPEAR-EW is also capable of reconnaissance of the area, transmitting real-time information to the command post and at the same time SPEAR-3. Recall, SPEAR-3 is also a promising high-precision cruise missile. It can carry a variety of warheads, has a mass of 100 kg and a range of 100 km. It is supposed to arm the F-35 of the British Air Force. It is stated that SPEAR-3 is resistant to electronic warfare. In early 2016, a $536 million contract for spear-EW with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense was signed, and the development will last four years. Russian experts recognize the danger of new missiles for domestic air defense and missile defense. However, there are doubts about the stability of the connection between the missile tandems and command posts in the context of the use of EW, which will cover all defensive systems. Most likely, missiles will not be able to keep in touch with each other and each of them will have to act independently, and outside of tandem, they are no longer such a formidable weapon.