Varley Rafael Australia (VRA) Move to Manufacture Spike LR2 Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)
Varley Rafael Australia (VRA) Move to Manufacture Spike LR2 Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

Varley Rafael Australia (VRA) Move to Manufacture Spike LR2 Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

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Varley Rafael Australia (VRA) is continuing to progress its sovereign guided missile capability and its readiness for local manufacture and support of the Spike LR2 anti-tank and anti-personnel guided missile. Varley Rafael Australia (VRA) is a joint venture between the Varley Group and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The Spike missile has been selected by the Australian Defence Force and is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants. Recently VRA hosted Rafael guided weapons subject matter experts and jointly reviewed potential Australian suppliers to further Rafael’s understanding of Australian industry capabilities.

Varley Rafael Australia (VRA) and Thales Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and commenced collaboration to explore future Australian production of the RAFAEL SPIKE family of guided weapon directly enabling the accelerated delivery of a Sovereign Guided Weapons manufacturing and sustainment capability in support of the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise. The immediate focus of the collaboration is the review of manufacturing the SPIKE LR2 Anti-Tank Guided Missile’s advanced rocket propulsion system, warheads, Hot-Integration and associated storage requirements.

Rafael’s Spike LR2 Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM) were successfully fired from a Redback vehicle in earlier last year. (Photo by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems)

The Rafael personnel were highly impressed with the resident capability and capacity of the Australian suppliers and their readiness to commence Quality Assured Vendor (QAV) certification activities, according to a VRA statement. An ‘in-depth visit’ was made to Thales’ Advanced Ordnance manufacturing facility at Mulwala in regional New South Wales, reviewing the potential for Australian warhead and rocket motor production and the options for VRA’s planned Missile Hot Integration facility. VRA and Thales Australia, have also commenced collaboration to review and advance SPIKE LR2 sovereign supply and sustainment capability.

Spike is an Israeli fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead. As of 2007, it is in its fourth generation. It was developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants. Spike-LR II has reduced weight to 12.7 kg (28 lb), increased range of 5.5 km (3.4 mi) at ground level and 10 km (6.2 mi) from helicopters using an RF data-link, warhead options of tandem HEAT with 30% increased armor penetration or a multipurpose blast warhead.