The Croatian Army has carried out the first live-fire trial of a Spike LR (long range) anti-tank guided missile installed on one of the army’s Patria CRO 30L armored vehicles (BOV).
The milestone firing took place three years after the defense ministry announced the contract on the purchase of the missiles. The missiles are part of an Israeli solution selected by the country in 2017.
The defense ministry said at the time it is buying eight UT30MK2 30-mm remote weapon stations (RWS) provided by defense company Elbit Systems. The RWS are integrated with the Spike LR missiles developed by Rafael, another Israeli company, as well as a 30mm cannon and a 7.62x51mm gun.
In January this year, the Croatian defense ministry announced a $1.8 million order with Elbit for the delivery of further UT30 MK2 RWS to equip more of the 126 Patria armored vehicles in service with the Croatian Army since 2008.
The October 6 live-fire was part of the Patria 22 exercise that took place at the Josip Markić military training grounds near Knin and Eugen Kvaternik near Slunj.
According to the defense ministry, the first launch was carried out under the supervision of instructors from the Polish Armed Forces and the Slovenian Army, and saw the Croatian crew accurately hit the target.
The Spike LR variant supplied to Croatia has a range of 4 kilometers and can destroy 700 mm armor. Rafael is currently offering the Spike LR2 variant, which has a range of over 5 kilometers when launched from the ground, and fire-and-forget capabilities.