Argentina mulls buying Rafael Spike missiles - report

Spike missile credit: Rafael
Spike missile credit: Rafael

Buenos Aires is considering procuring Spike LR2 anti-tank missiles from Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the ZM website reports.

Argentina has been upgrading its army in recent years, partly with the help of Israeli defense companies. Now, according to a report on the South American ZM website, Buenos Aires is considering purchasing Spike LR2 anti-tank missiles from Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

A major challenge for the deal is not Israel's international image or the relative lack of operational proof of Rafael's anti-tank missiles, but Argentina's difficult economic situation. Despite the considerable challenges, Argentina has become a prominent customer of Israeli defense companies in recent years.

Over the past year, there have been two prominent deals between Argentina and Israeli defense companies. In June, the Argentinean Minisdtry of Defense announced a deal with Elbit Systems to upgrade its TAM 2CA2 tanks. In another major deal, Argentina procured Hero 30 and Hero 120 loitering munitions from Israeli company Uvision.

Spike LR2 anti-tank missiles are already being used by 40 countries, of which 21 countries are in the EU and NATO. It is an advanced, multi-purpose, multi-platform missile system that is operationally proven, and is designed to meet the needs of modern warfare and complex combat challenges. Spike LR2 is part of a family of innovative electro-optical missiles that can be launched from about 45 platforms on land, at sea and in the air.

While Argentina is interested, Brazil is holding back

Argentinian interest in Israeli anti-tank missiles in general and LR Spike missiles in particular comes at an interesting time, because only last week the Brazilian army authorized its ground forces to set up a think tank to change delivery dates in the contract for its procurement of LR2 Spike anti-tank missiles the Brazilian website Tecnologia & Defesa repoprts. Although there is no official reason for the move on a small $19 million deal signed in 2021, it is very likely that it is due to the Swords of Iron War. Recently, the Brazilian army also decided to temporarily suspend the signing of a deal for 36 Atmos howitzers made by Elbit, after the Israeli company won a local tender at the end of April.

Spike LR2 missiles have a range of about 5.5 kilometers from the ground and about 10 kilometers from the air. According to the report, about three years ago Brazil procured from Rafael 100 missiles, ten launchers, ten simulators and training services. The contract included delivery in three stages, starting from the second half of 2023 and ending in the second half of this year.

According to the report in Brazil, LR2 spike missiles are intended for several units: four launchers for an armored infantry battalion stationed in Santa Maria, two launchers for another unit in Santa Maria, two launchers for a tank battalion in Rosario do Sol and two launchers and ten simulators at the armor training base in Santa Maria.

To reassess the strategic situation

Now Brazil is reportedly interested in "reassessing" the strategic situation, while examining the issue preparedness of its land forces, training needs for its combat soldiers and use of simulators.

The Brazilian move is particularly puzzling because it is a contract from 2021, not particularly large, and delivery has already begun. In August last year, for example, the Australian Ministry of Defense signed a much larger contract with Rafael for procurement of LR2 Spike missiles worth more than A$50 million. The missiles will be incorporated into the Australian army's Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles and the contract allows for potential follow-up deals with local production in Australia of the LR2 spike missiles.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on June 5, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Spike missile credit: Rafael
Spike missile credit: Rafael
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