The Australian Army and broader ADF have confirmed they plan to acquire the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike LR2 missile system as its long-range direct fire support weapon capability.
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Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, explained that 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".
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.
Department of Defence 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.
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".
Former defence and defence industry minister Christopher Pyne confirmed that Spike LR would provide Australia's Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles with their anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) capabilities in mid-2018.
Under project LAND 400 Phase 2, Defence will acquire 211 Rheinmetall Boxer CRVs, which will provide vital mobility, lethality and protection for the Australian Army. The Boxer will be manufactured in Queensland, creating up to 1,450 jobs across the supply chain.
The Spike was selected after an independent comparative evaluation of potential missile options for the vehicle was conducted by the Defence Science and Technology Group.
The missile will offer long-range, lightweight, high resistance to countermeasures and higher technical maturity in the anti-tank role.