Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is offering its Trophy Active Protection System and Spike missiles for Australia’s LAND 400 armored vehicles program and plans to open a local company in the country.
“In order to meet the anticipated demand, Rafael will be opening a local company in Australia to jointly produce the SPIKE missiles with Australia’s Varley and will be purchasing metal for various system from Australia's Bisalloy Steel Group,” the company announced on Monday.
“Rafael has over 100 such JVs [joint ventures], including a manufacturing facility in India, and we have recently signed agreements with Australia’s Bisalloy for the supply of metals for the manufacture of military systems and with Varley [An Australian engineering firm] for the creation of cooperation and the establishment of an infrastructure for joint production of SPIKE missiles,” Giora Katz, executive VP of marketing and business development at Rafael said.
The local company – which will be based in Melbourne and managed by an Israeli and a local Australian team – will expand Rafael’s role in helping arm the Australian Army, both on land and sea, in the LAND 400 Phase 2 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles program.
According to Rafael, several of their systems have been used by the Australian Army for years, including remote-controlled weapon stations, naval systems, aerial attack guidance systems and more.
The fifth-generation Spike LR 2 design is based on lessons learned from modern warfare as well as from accumulated data from more than 5000 SPIKE missiles fired during training and combat.
The electro-optical, precision-guided missile has two advanced warhead configurations for increased lethality, according to the company. The Tandem HEAT warhead configuration ups the armor penetration capability of the missile by more than 30% and includes the new multipurpose blast warhead, which allows controlled fusing by the gunner for control of the desired effect.
The Trophy Active Protection System, developed by Rafael and Israel Aircraft Industries’ Elta Group is only fully operational and combat-proven APS in the world. The estimated cost of the Trophy system is $350,000 per tank.
Designed to detect and neutralize incoming projectiles, the Trophy system uses radar antennas and fire-control radars to track incoming threats, such as anti-tank-guided-missiles and rocket-propelled grenades. Once a projectile is detected, the system fires a shotgun-type blast to neutralize the threat.
With both Australian and American troops operating in theaters such as Afghanistan and Iraq, their militaries have understood that ground forces and armored vehicles are sitting ducks without any active protection systems. This is largely due to the proliferation of anti-tank weaponry in the hands of both state militaries and insurgent groups.
Also on the table for Rafael is the Iron Dome system. The system carries 24 pounds of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from four to 70 kilometers away.