Ministry of Defence Scraps $500 million Israeli Missile Deal

Asking the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to indigenously develop and produce a Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) for the Army, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to cancel the $500 million deal for Spike ATGM with Israel. The deal, seen as another proof of growing Indo-Israel defence cooperation, was expected to be signed after price negotiations with Rafael Advanced Defence Systems of Israel were completed last year.

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.Price negotiations between Rafael and the MoD started in March 2015. After the prices were finalised in June 2016, then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar constituted an experts committee to review the evaluation report and explore the possibility of an indigenous missile system.

The Army is currently using 2nd generation ATGMs Konkurs and Milan 2T which do not have night-fighting capabilities. Moreover, the Army currently has a shortage of around 68,000 missiles, with no missiles held as War Wastage Reserves against a government stipulation to build up stocks to last for at least 10 days of intense fighting.

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