Defence Ministry’s Cancellation of ATG Missile Deal With Israel May Put Pakistani Soldiers in Advantageous Position
New Delhi, Nov 21: The Defence Ministry’s decision to cancel the $500 million Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) deal with Israel may put Pakistani soldiers in an advantageous position. The anti-tank missile system Pakistan uses has a strike range of 3-4 km whereas India’s second generation ATG missile system has a range of just 2 km.
It was reported on Monday that the Spike ATGM deal with Israel was cancelled as the government wanted to protect the indigenous missile-development programme run by DRDO. The price negotiation for the deal had been completed in 2016 and the Army was hoping to get the third generation ATGM system soon. However, the Defence Ministy’s bid to boost local weapons development may have deprived the force the modern killing machine for some time, as it could take 3-4 years for Indian developers to make the system fully operational.
Spike ATGM is a man-portable fire and forget missile that can hit moving targets. Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems– that had announced a joint venture with an Indian company in anticipation of the deal– manufactures Spike ATGMs. (Also read: Defence Ministry Cancels $500 Million ATG Missile Deal With Israel)
NDTV reported that Pakistani soldiers use a Pakistan-made version of the Chinese HJ-8 missile that has double the range than that of the Indian missiles. Pakistan’s infantry also operates the US-built TOW missile which has more range than even HJ-8.
The Chinese missile, called Baktar-Shikan in Pakistan, can penetrate through T-90 tank’s explosive reactor armour– T-90 tanks are the main battle tanks used by the Indian Army.
The Indian Army currently uses two missiles– Milan 2T and Konkurs– which have a range of 2 kilometers.
DRDO may take many years before the indigenous ATGM is fully operational,
“DRDO has successfully produced the Nag and Anamika ATGMs. It is confident about providing the Army with an MPATGM of 3rd generation missile technology, at par with Spike, within three to four years. It won’t also need any transfer of technology,” a source told IE. (Also read: All You Need to Know About Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile ‘Nirbhay’)
This decision could severely impact Army’s push for modernisation.