The Weapon's Edge
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|Yuval Azulai||September 4th 2016|
The Lithuanian Army's largest-ever land system procurement has generated a major deal for Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.. Today, the state-owned defense company announced that it had signed a deal to provide the Lithuanian Army with advanced, remote-controlled, weapon stations enabling the launch of accurate Spike missiles, also produced by Rafael.
The Samson Mk2 weapon stations will be mounted on 88 Boxer infantry fighting vehicles, to be provided to the Lithuanian infantry forces by the Dutch-German consortium ARTEC. As part of the deal reported by Rafael, it will serve as Artec's subcontractor, and the weapon stations will be modified to match different armament types and calibers.Defense establishment sources estimated today that Rafael's share in the deal will be €100 million, while the entire deal is estimated at nearly €400 million. Defense industry sources say that this is Rafael's first deal in Lithuania and that the weapon stations will be provided in 2017.
Rafael reported today that the weapon stations will be provided with a 30mm gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The stations will be capable of launching Spike LR missiles, which have a 4 km range and are known for their accuracy. Rafael has sold weapon stations to more than 25 countries worldwide, which are used by armies on various naval and land system platforms.
Rafael says that this weapon system has a low signature but high accuracy; it can be loaded from under the turret, inside the vehicle, in order to minimize the risk of it being hit, thereby increasing the survivability of the vehicle and its crew, while maintaining continuous operation during a mission.
"The deal in Lithuania is indicative of Rafael's leading position in the field of land systems worldwide," said Rafael Executive Vice President and Head of Rafael's Land Systems Division Moshe Elazar, "This is a system that provides armies with survivability, lethality and maneuverability capabilities at competitive prices and is tailored to specific user demands. We are proud of being an integral part of the Lithuanian Army's largest land system acquisition plan with our weapon stations and Spike missiles. They will be a significant force multiplier for the Lithuanian Army."