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SPYDER: A Look at the Ksh 4 Billion Defence System Kenya is Set to Acquire from Israel

Recent reports have shown that the Kenyan government is set to acquire the Spider Defence System from Israel at an estimated cost of Ksh 4 billion.

In a bid to modernise the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), the Treasury allocated an additional Ksh 3 billion to a Ksh 1 billion loan from Tel Aviv to acquire the defence system.

The Spyder Air Defence System will be delivered by an Israeli state-owned company, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd.

“Procurement of quantity one (1) Reinforced Battery of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile System – Spyder Air Defence System,” read the Treasury budget documents.

But is the Spider Defence System and what are its capabilities? Here is what WoK has managed to dig about the same.

The SPYDER or Surface-to-air Python and Derby is an Israeli short and medium range mobile air defence system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The quick-reaction surface-to-air missile system can target airplanes, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles, drones, cruise missiles and precision-guided munitions.

It provides air defense for fixed assets as well as point and area defense for mobile forces operating in combat zones.

The system can be installed on a Tatra truck, a Mercedes-Benz Actros truck, a MAN TGS vehicle, a Scania P-series truck, a Dongfeng truck or a TELAR.

It uses the Python-5 and Derby missiles from the same firm.

The SPYDER launcher is designed to launch Python-5 and Derby surface-to-air missiles, which are fully compatible with air-to-air missiles.

The SPYDER comes in two variations, the SPYDER-SR (short range) and the SPYDER-MR (medium range). Both systems respond quickly, are weather-resistant, network-centric, have many launchers and are self-propelled.

A typical battery comprises of a central command and control unit, six missile firing units, and a resupply vehicle.

The SPYDER-SR employs the EL/M-2106 ATAR radar, whereas the SPYDER-MR uses the EL/M-2084 MMR radar.

Its autonomous capabilities can detect threats while on the move and enable a 360° launch within seconds of the target being declared hostile, in all-weather, multi-launch, and net-centric capabilities.

All the Spyder systems have multiple target engagement capabilities for handling saturation attacks.

Countries that are currently operating the defence system include Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, India, Peru, Singapore, Philippines and Romania among many other countries.