In order for the Swiss Armed Forces to be able to combat armoured targets even over greater distances, the ground troops need a long-range anti-tank guided missile system.
With this in mind, the Federal Office for Defence Procurement (armasuisse) carried out a market analysis and subsequently requested information on anti-tank guided missiles from various European and American manufacturers. The information on which these requests focused included, for example, the function, the effect, technical data on the operations system, the potential integration in the existing infrastructure, and the commercial framework conditions.
Based on a detailed analysis of the information received, two of the manufacturers met the military requirements expected of the system. Further in-depth information and offers were then obtained from the two manufacturers remaining in the evaluation process.
SPIKE LR2 from Eurospike chosen
The decision regarding which anti-tank guided missile system would be used by the Swiss Armed forces fell in favour of the SPIKE LR2 weapon system. The system produced by Eurospike and already used by numerous European armed forces demonstrated in the evaluation phase that it was the most useful in terms of military capabilities and was also the most attractive offer from a business perspective.
The chosen system is set to be initially used by the infantry on a mobile basis. The system will not be integrated into a carrier platform in the first stage. However, the possibility remains to integrate the SPIKE LR2 system into vehicles at a later date. Procurement is to be proposed to Parliament in the 2024 Armed Forces Dispatch.
Eurospike is a joint venture based in Röthenbach a.d. Pegnitz (D) between Diehl Defence GmbH, Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The development, design and qualification of the system will be carried out for the most part at Rafael in Israel. A large part of the SPIKE LR2 components for the European market are produced across locations in Germany.
Clarifications on the previous system
The anti-tank guided missile TOW (Tube launched, Opticallly tracked, Wire guided) procured over 30 years ago constitutes the main armament of the anti-tank armoured personnel carrier 90 (wheeled armoured personnel carrier, manufactured by GDELS-MOWAG), which is to be decommissioned. The anti-tank armoured personnel carrier 90 was procured in 1990. In 2018, Parliament approved the motion for decommissioning; this is to be put into practice from 2024.
Before the start of decommissioning, armasuisse will contact the original manufacturer or manufacturing country in each case to clarify whether there is interest in a repurchase or whether the systems are to be disposed of. These clarifications are also ongoing in the present case.