The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) has placed a new order for the cutting-edge MELLS (Mehrrollenfähiges Leichtes Lenkflugkörpersystem, Multirole-capable Light Anti-tank Missile System) antitank guided missile system with EuroSpike GmbH, a joint venture of Rheinmetall and its partners Diehl Defence and Rafael. Another 666 guided missiles and 82 integrated command and launch units have been called off from the existing framework contract. The latest order is worth around € 88 million. Rheinmetall will be supplying key components to EuroSpike, maker of the MELLS, a multirole-capable lightweight guided missile system. For Rheinmetall, the new call-off will mean incoming orders worth around €17 million net. Delivery will take place during the 2022-2024 timeframe.
The fourth lot of MELLS missiles to be ordered by the Bundeswehr, the systems are earmarked for German infantry and mechanized infantry units. Rheinmetall will be supplying 82 integrated command and launch units as well as 666 sets of components for the Rafael-made Spike LR (long-range) guided missile. The latest version of the launch system is already capable of firing the enhanced Spike LR 2 guided missile. Concluded in October 2019, the framework contract contains an option for fabricating and supplying around 100 integrated command and launch units as well as thousands of MELLS guided missiles during the period 2024 to 2031.
Made by EuroSpike, the MELLS is a latest-generation effector designed for engaging armoured ground targets at ranges of up to 5,500 metres with the Spike LR-2. Rheinmetall possesses extensive experience with the MELLS. The company has already integrated this modern guided missile into the Marder infantry fighting vehicle and is currently doing so in the Puma IFV. Another contractor is now integrating the system into the Wiesel airmobile weapon carrier and enhanced networking of the integrated command and launch units with Rheinmetall’s “Future Soldier Expanded System” soldier system via the TacNet command and information system.
The German army has finalized its annual training in firing of Rafael’s SPIKE LR ATGM missile.The firing was performed in Germany under adverse weather conditions, and included the firing of as many as 54 live SPIKE LR missiles by German Army gunners from the new SPIKE ICLU launchers (Integrated Control Lunch Unit), which includes a new digital user interface. The SPIKE LR2 light weight, enhanced lethality and great standoff of 5.5 (ground) to 10 (air) km makes it the ideal munition for infantry as well as light attack helicopters. SPIKE missile family 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.