India’s Ministry of Defense bought 240 Israeli anti-tank missiles guided by Spike and 12 launchers amid a tense border with Pakistan.
Spike anti-tank missile of Israel
Sputnik reported that, under a special provision, the deputy chief of the Indian army, Devraj Anbu, had the right to buy war materials and goods worth more than $ 70 million without going through the Ministry of Defense. Anbu is taking advantage of this right to buy Israeli reserves of guided anti-tank missiles (ATGM) amid border tension with neighboring Pakistan with no sign of cooling down.
A source shared with Globes (Israel) that the value of the shipment could reach “tens of millions of dollars”. However, Indian military officials have not yet published the exact figures. The company side Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Spike rocket provider, did not comment on the arms deal this time.
Although India has approved the agreement to manufacture Spike rockets, production takes time. Meanwhile, the military wants to have a missile for testing this summer. IHS Jane’s defense magazine said the decision to buy a Spike missile was made during a meeting of military commanders that ended April 13 in New Delhi.
India has repeatedly “missed an appointment” with the Spike rocket. In 2011, the country signed a contract worth $ 500 million to buy thousands of missiles of this type but the conflict between the Ministry of Defense and the Defense Research and Development Agency of India (DRDO) made the agreement canceled.
However, it took a long time for the MPATGM missile to be ready to fight, even if the missile tests were successful. A source of the Indian government shared with Sputnik that a large number of MPATGM missiles will be produced by the country in 2021.
Until then, the Indian army still needed a lot of anti-tank missiles. India is implementing an agreement to buy 2,500 Spike missiles as a temporary option while waiting for MPATGM. However, the Diplomat said the deal is still in progress.