Defence Ministry Cancels Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile Deal With Israel to Protect Indigenous Programme
New Delhi, Nov 20: The Defence Ministy has cancelled a $500 million missile deal with Israel to protect India’s indigenous missile programme, a report said. The deal for the Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) for the Army was expected to be signed soon with Israel for its Spike ATGM. However, the ministry felt later that Indian weapons manufacturers would be able to deliver the weapon system in 3-4 years without even a transfer of technology.
Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, the company that manufactures Spike ATGM, had entered into a joint venture with an Indian company for missile production in the anticipation of the deal. A facility was also inaugurated in August in Hyderabad for this. (Also read: BrahMos Supersonic Missile to be Fired From Sukhoi-30MKI This Week)
Indian Express reported that the decision to scrap the deal was taken to protect the indigenous programme as it was thought a foreign ATGM would adversely impact DRDO’s attempts.
“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 will be a big setback for Army’s modernisation bid as the organisation had been asking for the defence system. The Army had written a letter to the Ministry of Defence, saying the Spike Missile system would give a major capability impetus to troops at the Line of Control.
Spike ATGM missile is a third generation Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided missile. It has a range of 2.5 km and can be used during the day and at night. It is a top attack and fire and forget missile system, which betters India’s current systems with its day-night capability. Army is using the second gen, Konkurs and Milan 2T .