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India Eyes Spike, Javelin Buys

Nov. 20, 2013 - 10:53AM   |  
A remote-controlled weapon station fires a Spike anti-tank missile.
A remote-controlled weapon station fires a Spike anti-tank missile. (Rafael)
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NEW DELHI — India is considering the purchase of both the Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) and the US Javelin ATGM. Indian Defence Ministry sources said the Javelin purchase could include co-development of a new generation of the missile. Purchase would be on a government-to-government basis, added the source.

Both the Spike and Javelin will be discussed during the forthcoming meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), Indiaís top procurement body.

The Israeli-built Spike returned to the Indian Armyís acquisition agenda and the subject was discussed during the DACís Nov. 11 meeting.

The purchase of Spike was put on hold in April because it was a single-vendor procurement from Israeli company Rafael. However, the Army, which has a shortage of more than 20,000 advanced ATGMs, is in a hurry to acquire them from overseas markets.

The Army currently depends on Russian Konkurs M and French Milan ATGMs, but these have a limited range.

The Army now proposes to buy third-generation Spike systems, including 321 missile launchers, 8,356 missiles and 15 training simulators and associated accessories, along with technology transfer. India can equip its Russian-made BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles with the Spike system.

US Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, during his visit to New Delhi in September, formally proposed the joint development of the Javelin.

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