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Defence confirms selection of LAND 400 Phase 2 anti-tank missile system

Department of Defence officials have confirmed which anti-tank missile system has been selected for the LAND 400 Phase 2 vehicles.

Israel's Rafael has beaten out European consortium MBDA for the anti-tank missile system that will be fitted to Rheinmetall's Boxer CRVs.

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Rafael offered the Spike LR2 ATGM (anti-tank guided missile) while MBDA offered its MMP.

Representatives from Defence confirmed that prior to Rheinmetall securing the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract, both the German company and the unsuccessful contender, BAE Systems, had selected the Spike LR2.

"Both Rheinmetall and BAE selected the Spike, we conducted independent study to have a look at that [Spike LR2 selection]," Major General David Coghlan told Senate estimates.

"DSTG [Defence Science and Technolgy Group] did an independent study, land systems division looked at it, we made a recommendation to the capability manager, they’ve accepted the Spike."

MAJGEN Coghlan, the head of Land Systems Division, said details of the subcontract between Rafael and Rheinmetall cannot be discussed as this stage as negotiations on the LAND 400 Phase 2 project are still ongoing between Rheinmetall and Defence.

"They [Rafael] are a subsystem provider to Rheinmetall so they tendered to Rheinmetall, we’re currently in negotiation with Rheinmetall on Phase 2," he said.

The selection of Rafael for the anti-tank missile system is a win for Australia's Varley Group.

Rafael partnered with Varley Group last year and confirmed Varley Australia will create a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Australia, which will provide production and support of Rafael Advanced Defense System's fifth generation Spike LR2 ATGM.

Varley and Rafael's facility will become the first to manufacture the Spike LR2 outside of Israel.

The NSW business was selected after Rafael conducted assessments of manufacturing facilities and operations across Australia.

In February this year, Rafael confirmed its operations in Australia will focus on its joint venture with Varley Group.

"Rafael’s operations in Australia will now be focused on the joint venture Varley Rafael Australia," Rafael Australia general manager Ido Spitzer said at industry briefings in Australia.

"We will establish new headquarters along with engineering development and production integration facilities to support current and future Rafael systems."

Managing director of Varley Group Jeff Phillips said the long-term vision of the joint venture is to upskill and partner with Australian suppliers to deliver Australian made capabilities. Varley Rafael Australia will combine Varley Group’s experience of delivering systems to the Australian Defence Force with a technology transfer program from Rafael Advanced Systems.

Varley Rafael Australia also outlined opportunities for transferring advanced technology to Australia, including manufacturing and integrating precision electro-mechanical sub-assemblies; manufacturing advanced circuit card assemblies and multi-layered printed circuit boards; precision computer numerical control machining; injection moulding; and surface coating.

While a location for the facility remains undecided, Varley Rafael said the near-term focus is on engineering development and integration, systems assembly, Australian supply chain management, upskilling, simulation and in-service support.

"The joint venture will provide centralised access to Rafael’s global supply chain and network of international partners and customers. Rafael’s recent export order from Wollongong-based Bisalloy Steels demonstrates the benefit for Australia of Rafael’s increased engagement," Spitzer said.

Varley Rafael have also stressed that qualified Australian suppliers will also be able to deliver precision manufactured components to Rafael’s global supply chain, providing export opportunities.

Defence confirms selection of LAND 400 Phase 2 anti-tank missile system
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