Rheinmetall and Diehl Defence announced on the 29 March that the Bundeswehr has placed a new order for MELLS anti-tank guided missiles worth around €88 million with EuroSpike GmbH. EuroSpike is the joint venture between the two companies and Rafael that handles program management and marketing of the Spike ATGM family in Europe, with the Spike-LR operated as the MELLS (Mehrrollenfähiges Leichtes Lenkflugkörper-System or Multi-role Light Guided Missile System) by the Bundeswehr.
This latest order is the fourth lot of MELLS ordered under the framework contract in place, with 666 guided missiles and 82 integrated command and launch units called off. Rheinmetall says that the order will result in incoming orders worth €17 million net, while Diehl did not comment on the expected value of incoming orders of the guidance and control assemblies it manufactures for the MELLS. The MELLS ordered will be delivered to Bundeswehr infantry and mechanized infantry units, with deliveries expected to take place between 2022 and 2024.
Diehl says that this order means that the total number of MELLS missiles purchased by the Bundeswehr’s procurement authority has now exceeded 4,600 missiles. Rheinmetall adds that the framework contract, finalized in October 2019, includes an option for fabricating and supplying around 100 integrated command and launch units as well as “thousands” of MELLS guided missiles between 2024 and 2031. If exercised, the option would result in incoming orders for the company, which owns a 40% stake in EuroSpike, in the “three-digit million-euro range”.
As previously reported, the MELLS is replacing the MILAN in service with Bundeswehr infantry, and is replacing the MILAN on the Marder 1A5 infantry fighting vehicle as well as the TOW on Wiesel 1s equipped with them. MELLS has also been integrated onto the Puma IFVs to be deployed as part of the 2023 NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force mission, which will be led by the Bundeswehr. MELLS integration on the rest of the Puma fleet is expected to be completed by 2027.