KIELCE, Poland — With a number of Eastern European nations aiming to acquire new infantry fighting vehicles for their land forces, Israel’s Rafael plans to offer its Spike LR guided missile in partnership with vehicle manufacturers.
Last year, Lithuania decided to purchase some 88 Boxer armored fighting vehicles from Germany’s Artec, with Rafael set to equip the vehicles with its Samson Mk II weapon stations fitted with Spike launchers.
“Our subsidiary EuroSpike is expected to sign a deal with Artec for the supply of Spike missiles by the end of 2017,” Yizhar Sahar, a manager at Rafael, told Defense News at the MSPO defense industry show in Kielce, Poland.
Meanwhile, the Israeli company is gearing up for a number of infantry fighting vehicle procurements throughout the region, which would allow Eastern European allies to replace their Soviet-designed armored vehicles with Western-made gear.
“Slovenia is expected to launch a tender for 50 vehicles, and Romania is considering to acquire additional Piranha eight-wheel drive vehicles. Macedonia could also be looking to purchase about 15 vehicles,” Sahar said.
Most recently, Israel’s Elbit Systems submitted a winning bid in Croatia’s tender to purchase weapons for the country’s 126 Patria eight-wheel drive armored modular vehicles. Elbit Systems is to supply its UT30MK2 unmanned turrets fitted with a 30mm cannon and a 7.62x51mm gun, as well as Rafael’s Spike LR missile systems
Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and the country’s subsequent annexation of Ukrain’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 have increased defense budgets across the region, pushing a number of Eastern European allies to invest in the capacities of their respective land forces.