Australian Army’s Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles to be Armed with Rafael’s Spike LR2 Anti-Tank Guided Missiles

By Arie Egozi

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: The Australian Army’s Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles will be armed with the Rafael’s Spike Long-Range 2 anti-tank guided missiles, which will enable soldiers to engage with the enemy at a range of more than five kilometres.

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Varley Rafael Australia is expected to deliver the first Spike missile early next year, under a contract worth $50 million, and is developing options for domestic manufacturing. Varley Rafael Australia (VRA) is a joint venture between The Varley Group and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems that combines Australia’s oldest defence enterprise with Rafael, a world leader in defence technology.

The Spike family of missiles includes the following variants – SR with a range of 2 km, LR2 with a range of 5.5 km , ER 2 with a range of 10 km and the NLOS with a range of 30 km.

Spike SR benefits include a light weight of only 10kg, operational simplicity, and an enhanced range of 2000 metres. Spike SR’s ease-of-use allows the lower echelon infantry to qualify rapidly and to sustain a high level of operation with almost no continuous training.

These capabilities enhance infantry crew survivability when facing today’s modern tank threat that includes better armour, greater standoff ranges and advanced optics, which place ATGM units at risk. With its very low signature and single-soldier operation, Spike SR enables forces to shoot-and-scoot without exposing their location. This is a crucial capability for both high intensity conflict, when facing an armoured invasion, as well as in hybrid warfare, when proxy armoured forces operate to hold ground.

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Packed in a 98 cm long canister, Spike SR is highly portable, allowing infantry to easily and rapidly deploy with the weapon in any ground infantry manoeuvre.

Latvia also selected the Spike missiles for its armed forces. The deal includes the LR , LR2 , ER and SR variants.

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Spike LR2 is a 5th generation missile with an engagement range of 5.5 km, and Spike SR is a company-level fire-and-forget light missile for 2 km.

The Spike SR is a light shoulder-launched disposable fire-and-forget missile, effective up to 2 km. Weighing only 10 kg, and with a dual seeker, the Spike SR allows the manoeuvring infantry to acquire and engage fast-moving targets at short range, thanks to its advanced tracker.

There is a forum of the Spike users and when it convenes, the users share their combat experience and ask for upgrades. The growing trend of developing manned and unmanned combat vehicles has opened a new potential market for the different Spike missiles. The missiles can be integrated in a weapon station that is carried by the vehicle or installed on a launcher attached to the vehicle.