Mariusz Błaszczak announced that agreement would be signed, allowing the Polish Armed Forces to reinforce its anti-tank capabilities. The above refers to the delivery of several hundred Spike-LR ATGMs - the agreement is to be implemented over the upcoming years. This also means that the Polish military would obtain a lot more anti-tank assets - that are the latest weapons of the type used by the Army, and that are also license-manufactured domestically, at the PGZ Group's Mesko S.A. company.
The Armament Agency added that the deliveries are scheduled to happen between 2023 and 2026, and the contract value is PLN 400 million. Defence24.pl has been the first outlet to publish information on the preparation of an agreement regarding the Spike-LR ATGMs. A separate procurement procedure has been launched, regarding portable launch units for the Spike-LR/LR2 missiles.
Up until now, the Polish Armed Forces took delivery of two lots of Spike-LR ATGMs - the first one (2675 missiles plus 264 portable launch units) was received between 2004 and 2013, while the second one (1000 missiles) was delivered between 2018 and 2021. The deliveries were completed within the framework of an agreement signed in 2015, with a value of PLN 600 million.
Spike-LR missiles are license-manufactured in Poland, by Mesko, with the license granted by the Israeli Rafael company. In the future, the launchers would be integrated on the ZSSW-30 turrets of the Rosomak vehicle. These turrets, offering the capability to launch the Spike ATGM, would also be installed on the new Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles.
Spike ATGM launched from ZSSW-30 turret, integrated on the Rosomak APC. Image Credit: Jerzy Reszczyński, HSW S.A. The Spike-LR ATGM can neutralize targets at a distance of up to 4 kilometers. They are guided via an optical-fiber connection coupled with a TV/thermal imaging camera. Thanks to the above, it is possible to attack targets that remain outside the line of sight of the operator (hiding behind terrain) or to adjust the trajectory post-launch. Fire-and-forget operation is also possible. Armament as such may be even more lethal if used in sync with reconnaissance UAVs. The missile is in essence the most modern anti-tank asset of the Polish land forces.
Rafael also offers a new variant. Spike-LR2 has an extended range of 5.5 kilometers, a modernized guidance system, and offers better armour-piercing performance. At the same time, the new missile offers complete backward compatibility with the existing Spike-LR launchers. Spike-LR/LR2 missiles are operated by numerous European NATO member states, including Germany (as MELLS), the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Finland.