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). 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 Australian dismounted teams to engage armoured targets faster, at increased range, and with improved accuracy. The Australian Army in conjunction with Defence 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.
The Spike LR2 weapon system is being integrated with the Rheinmetall Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicle, 211 units of which are on order for the Australian Army under Australian Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (Project Land 400 Phase 2). The alignment with the Boxer will also enable Australian Army to deliver improved operational effects for the Australian Defence Force in sustainment, training and maintenance. The Spike LR2 was confirmed as the the anti-tank guided missile on the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles in 2018. Varley and Rafael formed a joint venture and committed to building the LR2 in Australia, employing up to 70 Australians directly with hundreds more in the supply chain.
On 13 March 2018 it was announced that Rheinmetall Defense Australia (RDA) had been selected as the preferred tenderer for the Australian Army’s Land 400 Phase 2 programme. In Australian service the Boxer will replace the army’s ageing fleet of 257 Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) that reach their life-of-type around 2021. Australian Boxer CRVs will mount the Rheinmetall LANCE 30 mm two-man turret, fitted with the Rheinmetall Mauser MK30-2/ABM (air-bursting munition) dual-feed stabilised cannon and 7.62 mm coaxial MG. The Rheinmetall Boxer will be manufactured in Queensland, creating up to 1450 jobs across the supply chain.
The Spike-LR II (Israeli designation: Gil-2) is an Israeli fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge HEAT warhead, currently in its fourth-generation. It was developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It increased range of 5.5 km (3.4 mi) at ground level and 10 km from helicopters using an RF data-link, warhead options of tandem HEAT with 30% increased armor penetration or a multipurpose blast warhead with selectable detonation fusing, a new seeker that includes an uncooled IR sensor with a smart target tracker with artificial intelligence features and is compatible with legacy launchers.