26 November 2019 – Rheinmetall and its joint venture partners Diehl Defence and Rafael have won an order to supply the Bundeswehr with the advanced MELLS antitank guided missile. Rheinmetall is tasked with supplying key components to Eurospike, the company that manufactures the MELLS multirole lightweight guided missile system. For Rheinmetall, this represents an order intake of over €30 million without valued added tax. Delivery begins in 2020 and continues through to 2023. A framework agreement contains an option for the fabrication and delivery of around 100 additional weapon systems and a five-figure number of component sets for the MELLS guided missile during the 2024-2031 timeframe. This would mean incoming orders for Rheinmetall in the three-digit million-euro range.
The MELLS missiles now ordered by the Bundeswehr are intended for infantry operations. Rheinmetall will be supplying over a hundred integrated command and launch units, including transport and storage containers, as well as 1,500 sets with components for the long-range Spike LR missile produced by Rafael.
Produced by Eurospike – a joint venture of Rheinmetall, Diehl Defence and Rafael – the MELLS is a state-of-the-art effector capable of engaging armoured targets at ranges of up to 4,000 metres.
Rheinmetall can point to abundant expertise and experience with the MELLS. The Düsseldorf, Germany-based company has already integrated this advanced missile system into the Marder infantry fighting vehicle, and is doing so again in the Puma IFV. In addition, another contractor is currently integrating the system into Rheinmetall’s air-portable Wiesel/Wiesel weapons carrier.
Looking ahead, more extensive networking of the command and launch units and guided missiles with Rheinmetall-made soldier systems like the Future Soldier – Expanded System (IdZ-ES) and the TacNet battle management system offers significant future potential, which will further optimize the sensor-to-shooter sequence.
Photos courtesy Rheinmetall