By Paolo Valpolini
Considering Spain a market that deserved a major interest, Rafael increased its footprint in that nation thanks to its PAP Tecnos subsidiary, which has become a major provider to the Spanish Ministry of Defence.
The Spanish Air Force has been the pioneer in the use of the Reccelite pod, and in late 2019 a contract was filed for the update of those pods, which are being used o board the F/A-18s (known locally as C.15) of the Ejército del Aire. The service has also in use the Litening targeting pod, and has recently tested the Litening III on board its Eurofighter Typhoons (C.16), for which PAP Tecnos fully cooperated with Indra, which is the system integrator. In the land domain the Spanish Army employs the Mini Samson remotely controlled weapon stations armed with 12.7 mm machine guns on board its RG-31 MRAPs.
Thanks to its new industrial facilities located in Torrejón de Ardoz, close to the Madrid international airport, PAP Tecnos ensures not only the commercial relationship with the local customer thanks to its status of Spanish company, but also the local industrial content, which is further enhanced by over 10 subcontractors, spread out throughout Spain, the main one being Tecnobit, as Moisés Amselem, the Director General and CEO explained to EDR On-Line.
“One example is the Spike missile,” he said, “which has over 50% of local content. We also acquired the know how for some of its components, and we help Rafael producing those elements for missiles sold to other countries.” With the Spanish Army and Marine Corps having used Spike LR and Spike ER missiles for years, Spanish Tiger attack helicopters are armed with the missile of Israeli origin, the next business for the company is the Spike LR2; a Spanish requirement should emerge in 2022-23, as long range missiles currently in use will reach the end of their operational life. These are being proposed for various use, including that on the new 8×8 Dragón. Here too the business involves other Spanish subcontractors, major ones being Tecnobit and Expal.
“Another field of activity that might open up soon is that of Air Defence,” Moisés Amselem told EDR On-Line, “as in 2025-26 a requirement for a medium range air defence system should come up, for which we will propose our Spyder GBAD system,” the company considering mobility and cost among the key marketing features, beside performances.
According to PAP Tecnos officials, the company is fully aligned with the two main policy directives of the Spanish MoD, acquiring the best systems in terms of capabilities and technologies, and increase the national sovereignty and autonomy in the defence industrial sector.
Photo by P. Valpolini