The Slovak Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with Eurospike GmbH for the supply of the SPIKE LR2 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and dismounted advanced ICLU (Integrated Control Launch Units) launchers.
The procurement deal with Eurospike was carried out through the NATO Support & Procurement Agency (NSPA). Eurospike is a European Joint Venture (JV) between Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd., and Germany’s Diehl Defence and Rheinmetall Electronics. The European variant of the Spike weapon system differs a little from the Israeli version and is marketed under the name EuroSpike.
In April 2018, the Slovak MOD published the successful results of the field testing phase of the Slovak Turra 30 mm Remote Control Weapon Stations (RCWS) mounted on Patria vehicles including multiple launches of vehicle-mounted SPIKE Missiles from the EVPU RCWS.
The selection of the SPIKE LR2 missile by the Slovak armed forces will allow the Slovakia army 5th generation tactical overmatch. This purchase is part of the ongoing modernization of armed forces taking place around Europe, in which the SPIKE Missiles have assumed a major role in enhancing deterrence and capability.
The Slovak Army is the 6th armed force to choose the SPIKE LR2 ATGMs, and it is part of another 34 SPIKE user nations and is among the 19 EU/NATO SPIKE missile user nations. Slovakia is also the 3rd NATO nation which will be using the SPIKE LR2 and follow the seamless transition by SPIKE missile user nations from 4th generation SPIKE LR missiles to the 5th generation SPIKE LR2 missile variant fired from the same vehicle or dismounted launchers.
The current contract includes dismounted launchers, signifying that the SPIKE LR2 is now the ATGM of choice both for the Slovak infantry as well as for its cavalry.
“We are very thankful for the confidence of the Slovak army and would like also to thank NSPA for their quick responsiveness and professionalism. This procurement by Slovakia follows past contracts of SPIKE Missile by Germany, Baltic States Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as many other European countries, which has created common ATGM capabilities within Europe, serving interoperability and potentially future cross-nation mutual support”, said Wolfgang Herrnberger, Managing Director of EUROSPIKE.
The Australian Army and the wider Australian Defence Force (ADF) has recently announced the selection of Spike LR2 missile system as its Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability, under the Lethality System project (Land 159).
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.
In total, more than 33,000 SPIKE family missiles have been supplied to-date around the world, with over 6000 SPIKE missiles firings, both in training and in combat.