The Slovenian Ministry of Defence has awarded sole bidder EuroSpike a €6.67 million ($6.6 million) contract to supply supply 50 Spike LR2 Long-range Anti-tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs).
The contract was officially announced on the EU tenders database on 6 September, although it was awarded on 29 July. Spike has been in use with the Slovenian Armed Forces since 2009. The missile displayed the enhanced capabilities of the SPIKE launcher, as a force multiplier for the mobilized land forces, enabling precision strike against armored targets with improved precision at extended ranges and beyond-line-of-sight. Eurospike is a joint venture based in Röthenbach a.d. Pegnitz between Diehl Defence GmbH & Co. KG, Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.
In October 2018, the Slovenia Ministry of Defense signed an inter-governmental Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) with the U.S. Government for the purchase of 38 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) manufactured by Oshkosh Defense. In December 2020, the Slovenian Armed Forces successfully test-fired Spike LR missiles from a Kongsberg Protector remote weapon station mounted on an Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Procurement of the JLTV supports the fulfillment of NATO’s capability goals for the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) and greatly increases SAF interoperability with US and regional allies currently operating JLTV. All 38 JLTV platforms will be equipped with Protector RWS.
Spike 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. As well as engaging and destroying targets within the line-of-sight of the launcher (“fire-and-forget”), some variants of the missile are capable of making a top attack through a “fire, observe and update” method (essentially lock-on after launch); the operator tracking the target, or switching to another target, optically through the trailing fiber-optic wire while the missile is climbing to altitude after launch. This is similar to the lofted trajectory flight profile of the US FGM-148 Javelin.
A new generation of the original Spike-LR is in full-scale development and scheduled to be operational by the end of 2018. 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 with selectable impact or penetration detonation fusing, a new seeker that includes an uncooled IR sensor with a smart target tracker with artificial intelligence features, the ability to fire on grid target coordinates using an inertial measurement unit for third party-target allocation, and is compatible with legacy launchers.