The Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) is a weapon system the Indian army has been looking for, particularly to protect its infantrymen and then, its tanks against enemy armour. Now, after months of waiting, the Army will get its first consignment– a small one, though– of the Spike.
The Rs 280 crore deal gets the Army 210 missiles and 12 launchers with delivery expected soon. The deal is part of the ’emergency purchase’ mechanism that the armed forces are allowed, and in the wake of the Indian Air Force’s strike on terror camps in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan and the Pakistani Army moving some of its troops right to the border, much required.
According to the rules, the Army vice chief is allowed Rs 300 crore for emergency purchases, and last weekend, this was cleared after the Army Commanders’ Conference. Senior army officials said the previous effort– a much larger deal– was stuck; discussions were still going on with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
While that deal related to a weapon-system that was ‘third-generation,’ this purchase is of a new, ‘fourth-generation’ missile with superior performance. The Emergency Purchase provision was used primarily because such purchases during the time of elections are usually more difficult. The Spike is likely to be effective against reactive armour; the 4 km range is also a positive.
Of course, it is a small order. But if the Spike proves to be effective, a larger order could happen in the future.
Source : Defence News India