A NSW defence engineering company has partnered with an Israeli defence systems leader to deliver Australian production and assembly of Spike missiles.
The Spike is an Israeli-designed missile, built to target and track armor and infantry targets.
Varley Australia will create a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Australia, which will provide production and support of Rafael Advanced Defense System's new, fifth generation Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missile. Varley and Rafael's facility will become the first to manufacture the Spike LR2 outside of Israel.
The NSW business was selected after Rafael conducted assessments of manufacturing facilities and operations across Australia, a selection Varley chief executive Jeff Phillips said shows its international competitiveness.
"Varley’s selection demonstrates the skills and capabilities that reside within Australian industry," said Phillips. "We can compete both economically and on performance anywhere in the world."
Varley and Rafael said their partnership will provide LAND 400 Phase 2 with a unique source for local production and sustainment that will last for decades. The companies anticipate the high-level jobs planned for production on Spike LR2 will lead to adjacent opportunities, including the provision of support to future Rafael products such as the Iron Dome’s interceptor Tamir, the Trophy active protection system and more.
Rafael's executive vice president corporate business development and marketing Giora Katz said the joint venture will have a positive impact on Australian industry and defence.
"Rafael's intent is to maximise opportunities for competitive Australian companies such as Varley," said Katz.
"Through this partnership we will transfer our production capability, enhancing the skills, technology and infrastructure of Varley, thereby ensuring Australia has total operational independence in its use of our technologies. We are proud to be generating real opportunities for Australian industry."
The joint venture also means Varley will become part of Rafael's global supply chain for Spike missiles, enhancing the company's export opportunities and giving access to Rafael's cutting-edge, fifth generation defence technologies.
Varley has previously manufactured products for the defence sector, including: missile stowage, deployable military mission modules and shelters integrating tactical mission systems and support equipment; lightweight and heavy vehicle bodies; force protection electronic warfare integration, communications and line laying modules, fit-outs for police, emergency, rescue, fire-fighting, communications and health capabilities; specialised trailers; specialised equipment enclosures; aircraft ground support equipment; marine gangways and watercraft.