The Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra announced on 5 February that the Australian Army and the wider Australian Defence Force (ADF) will acquire the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike LR2 missile system as its "Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability".
The DoD quoted Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr as saying that said the acquisition of the system - under the Land 159 Lethality System project - is expected to ensure that the Australian Army is equipped with "a modern and credible dismounted anti-armour guided missile system to target contemporary armoured threats".
"The Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability will enable our dismounted teams to engage armoured targets faster, at increased range, and with improved accuracy," said Lt Gen Burr, adding that new technology and capabilities will enable the army to challenge its adversaries in complex, remote, and hostile environments. "The army must be equipped and always ready to deal with warfare at all ranges, at all times," he said.
The Chief of Army also pointed out that "the alignment [of this weapon system] with the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle . will also enable the army to deliver improved operational effects for the ADF in sustainment, training, and maintenance".
The Spike LR2 weapon system is being integrated with the Rheinmetall Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicle, 211 units of which are on order for the Australian Army under Project Land 400 Phase 2.
A joint venture (JV) between Australia's Varley Group and Rafael will supply the Spike LR2 for the Boxers, most of which will be of the combat reconnaissance vehicle variant.
The DoD also said that the Australian Army, in conjunction with the DoD, is currently considering options to address a "Medium Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability", which will be presented to the Australian Government for consideration in 2022.
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