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The German Bundeswehr has placed a new order for the cutting-edge MELLS anti-tank guided missile system with EuroSpike GmbH, in an order is worth around €88M. Rheinmetall will be supplying key components for this multirole-capable lightweight guided missile system. Delivery will take place during the 2022-2024 timeframe.

The fourth lot of MELLS missiles to be ordered by the Bundeswehr, the systems are earmarked for German infantry and mechanised infantry units. Rheinmetall will be supplying 82 integrated command and launch units as well as 666 sets of components for the Rafael-made SPIKE Long-Range (LR) guided missile. The latest version of the launch system is already capable of firing the enhanced Spike LR 2 guided missile.

Concluded in October 2019, the framework contract contains an option for fabricating and supplying around 100 integrated command and launch units as well as thousands of MELLS guided missiles during the period 2024 to 2031. In total, this would mean incoming orders for Rheinmetall in the three-digit million-euro range.

Future Path

Made by EuroSpike – a joint venture in which Rheinmetall holds a 40 per cent stake – the MELLS is a latest-generation effector designed for engaging armoured ground targets at ranges of up to 4,000 metres, or 5,500 metres with the SPIKE LR-2. Rheinmetall possesses extensive experience with the MELLS. The company has already integrated this modern guided missile into the MARDER IFV and is currently doing so with the Puma IFV. Another contractor is now integrating the system into the WIESEL airmobile weapon carrier.

Looking ahead, enhanced networking of the integrated command and launch units with Rheinmetall’s “Future Soldier – Expanded System” soldier system via the TacNet command and information system may also offer future potential. This would further optimise the sensor-to-shooter chain.

Jack Richardson