Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR NOV 2016 Contents COVER STORY
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 26 | NOV 2016
It means that the original design will be close to 40 years old when
CRV is due to enter service. This is not to say that age is an argument
against a weapon system or platform. There is a lot of equipment
in service with the Australian Army with a design heritage sever-
al decades old that is serving admirably, including for example the
M1 Abrams tank, itself designed in the late 1970s. The question is
how much missile technology will improve in the next 30 years and
whether Spike-LR can incorporate these improvements let alone
fifth generation capabilities. With Spike-LR, Army might need to
consider a replacement earlier in the life of CRV than it might prefer.
The second missile option is the Raytheon-Lockheed Martin
Javelin, which entered Australian service in the early 2000s. Jave-
lin’s greatest advantage is that it is already in service with Army. Un-
fortunately, it does not meet several Land 400 requirements. It has
an official range of 2,800m and it is fire-and-forget only. Once it is
fired, Javelin cannot be commanded to switch targets.
Like Spike-LR, Javelin meets the first of the proposed combat sys-
tem requirements. In fact, it goes one better because it is already in
service with the infantry. It is also 10 years earlier on its develop-
ment path than Spike-LR, having been designed in the late 1980s
and entered production in the late 1990s. Javelin is a third genera-
tion missile and the original design will be more than 30 years old
when CRV is due to enter service.
The Javelin Joint Venture (Raytheon and Lockheed Martin) has
been alluding to Javelin upgrades for several years. Finally, last year,
a new model of Javelin was fired out to 4,000m although it is un-
derstood it has a smaller warhead to make room for additional fuel.
There are reports from US forces in Afghanistan that the original
Javelin missile itself is capable of reaching targets at 4,000m in ide-
al conditions. The 2,800m range limitation is due to the resolution
and sensitivity of the sensors and their ability to acquire targets at
As an aside, Lockheed Martin UK has integrated a single-round
box launcher for Javelin on the port side of the 40mm turret devel-
oped for the British Army’s Warrior infantry fighting vehicle up-
grade. This turret/ATGM combination has reportedly been demon-
strated to a potential customer in the Middle East.
The third ATGM option is the MBDA MMP (Missile de Moy-
enne Portée; Medium Range Missile). Like Spike-LR, MMP fulfils
all of the Land 400 requirements. Given BAE Systems’ 37.5 per cent
ownership of MBDA, it is surprising that MMP was not offered in-
tegrated with the AMV35’s E35 turret and only as an option in the
dismounted role. Importantly, MMP fulfils both proposed combat
system requirements and is a fifth generation missile.
MMP was designed from the start to be suitable as both a vehi-
cle-mounted and dismounted ATGM. Unlike Spike-LR and Jave-
lin, it can be optimised for three target types prior to firing: an-
ti-tank, anti-personnel and anti-structure. The target type cannot
be changed after the missile has been fired.
Unlike Spike-LR and Javelin, MMP is early in its development
path. Designed in 2010 it is due to enter service with the French
Army in 2017, both with the infantry in the dismounted role and on
the T40 turret of the new Jaguar 6x6 combat reconnaissance vehicle.
The question is whether MMP has arrived too late for Land 400 or
just in time.
The final answer will depend on Army’s priorities. If Army is con-
tent for BAE Systems and Rheinmetall to make the decision, the
answer will probably be Spike-LR. If Army decides against the in-
troduction of a new missile, the answer might be an extended range
Javelin, assuming one is available. If the Army wants a common
missile for Land 400 and Land 4108, which is at the start of its life
and entering service just a few years before CRV, the answer may
well be MMP. DTR
ABOVE: The influence which the new project to upgrade or
replace Javelin (Land 4108) is to have on selection of an ATGM
for the CRV remains unclear. Spike-LR (shown) will likely be a
ABOVE: Seen here pedestal-mounted on a light armoured
vehicle, MMP has the advantage of being a true fifth generation
ATGM at the beginning of its development life but is not turret-
mounted on either CRV candidate. Image: MBDA
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