Sixth Operator of Rafael Fifth-Generation ATGM
The Slovak MoD has ordered Rafael’s fifth-generation SPIKE LR2 long-range anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) and associated integrated control launch units (ICLU) via the NATO Support & Procurement Agency (NSPA), the Tel-Aviv company announced on 5 March.
The order has been placed with the Eurospike consortium – a joint venture between Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Diehl Defence and Rheinmetall Electronics. Slovakia is the sixth nation to select SPIKE LR2 – the third NATO nation to do so – and joins 34 other nations in the family of SPIKE operators.
In April 2018 the Slovak MoD revealed the successful results of field tests of the EVPU-built TURRA 30mm Remote Control Weapon Station (RCWS) mounted on Patria vehicles, including multiple launches of vehicle-mounted SPIKE missiles. The current contract includes dismounted launchers, indicating that SPIKE LR2 is now the ATGM of choice for both the Slovak infantry and its cavalry.
The multi-platform, multi-mission and multi-range electro-optical SPIKE LR2 features an enhanced standoff range of 5.5km, fire-and-forget capabilities and man-in-the-loop features – such as mid-flight retargeting, attack of hidden targets beyond-line–of-sight – as well as the ability to launch to non-line-of-sight targets based solely on their coordinates.
Some 19 EU and NATO nations operate members of the SPIKE family: over 33,000 missiles have been supplied to date around the world, with 6,000+ missile firings, both in training and in combat. The SPIKE LR2 selection will allow the Slovakia army to achieve fifth-generation tactical overmatch. This procurement is part of the ongoing modernisation of armed forces occurring around Europe, in which SPIKE missiles have assumed a prominent role in enhancing both deterrence and capability.
“This procurement by Slovakia follows past contracts of SPIKE missiles 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,” commented Eurospike Managing Director, Wolfgang Herrnberger.