Australia selects Spike LR2

20 May 2018
Side view of the Spike LR II - full scale development of the new missile is scheduled to be finalised in Q4 2018. The Australian Department of Defence has selected the Spike LR2 to arm the Rheinmetall Boxer CRV under the Land 400 Phase 2 programme. Source: Rafael Advanced Defence Systems

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been selected by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) to supply its Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) for the Australian Army.

Australia becomes the second export customer for Spike LR2, after Latvia ordered an undisclosed quantity earlier this year.

Beating out the MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée or medium range missile) from MBDA in what was a mini-contest inside the competition to supply an 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) under the Land 400 Phase 2 programme, Spike LR2 will arm the Rheinmetall Boxer CRV, itself selected ahead of the BAE Systems AMV35 on 13 March this year under a AUD5.2 billion (USD3.91 billion) acquisition.

Whilst both Spike LR2 and MMP met the Land 400 Phase 2 requirement for a missile able to engage main battle tanks at 4,000 m, Jane’s understands that the Spike LR2’s more streamlined integration into the Army’s existing Elbit-sourced battle management system and the technical maturity of the Spike-launcher combination on the Boxer CRV were decisive in the selection. Rheinmetall, in addition, did not include the MMP in its Boxer CRV proposal.

Spike LR2 will be fired from the twin-round ATGM launcher installed on the left side of the Boxer CRV’s two-man Lance turret, with the launcher being almost identical to that on the German Army’s Puma infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). Earlier this year, the German Army successfully completed qualification of the in-service Spike LR ATGM for Puma. Supplied by EuroSpike, the Spike LR is known as MELLS (German acronym for ‘multi-role lightweight guided missile system’) in German service.

The final qualification trials of Spike LR on Puma were undertaken by the German Army and Rheinmetall at the company’s Unterlüss facility and included the live firing of several Spike LR missiles out to ranges between 2,000 and 4,000 m, in both the fire-and-forget and fire-and-observe modes.

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