The Australian Army and the wider Australian Defence Force (ADF) will acquire the Rafael Spike LR2 missile system as its Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability, under the Lethality System project (Land 159).
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr AO, DSC, MVO said the acquisition of the Spike LR2 system will contribute to the Army maintaining a competitive edge against evolving 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,” Lieutenant General Burr said. “New technology and capabilities enable Army to challenge it’s adversaries in complex, remote and hostile environments. Army must be equipped and always ready to deal with warfare at all ranges, at all times. The alignment with the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (Land 400 Phase 2), will also enable Army to deliver improved operational effects for the ADF in sustainment, training and maintenance.”
The introduction of the Spike LR2 will ensure that the Australian Army is equipped with a modern and credible dismounted anti-armour guided missile system to target contemporary armoured threats.
The Army in conjunction with the Department of Defence is currently considering options to address a Medium Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability which will be presented to the Government for consideration in 2022.
Rafael Spike LR II (LR2) Missile System
The Spike LR II is an electro-optical, precision-guided missile developed by the Israeli company, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The missile was unveiled at the Paris Air Show 2017.
The advanced multipurpose missile, weighing only 12.7 kg, is the 5th generation variant of the SPIKE Family of missiles that can be fired from vehicles, helicopters, ships, and ground launchers. It can be launched from any SPIKE Launcher.
Spike LR II has a range of 5.5 km when fired from ground launchers and up to 10 km when fired from a helicopter. It has a modern electro-optical (E/O) seeker which includes a high-quality un-cooled IR sensor and an advanced high definition color day sensor. The new seeker includes capabilities of a smart target tracker with AI (Artificial Intelligence) features.
The missile has two warhead configurations: a Tandem HEAT (High explosive anti-tank) warhead configuration, enhancing armor penetration capability by more than 30%, and a new multipurpose blast warhead, which includes controlled fusing.
Spike LR II was designed against new modern targets with low signature, time-sensitive characteristics. To counter this Spike LR II includes an embedded IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) for missions of third party-target allocation, allowing the firing of the missile to grid target coordinates, including advanced armor and protection systems.