Army to place repeat order for Spike missiles from Israel

The emergency procurement comes in the backdrop of continuing tensions on LAC with China

July 14, 2020 10:09 pm | Updated 10:31 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Spike long-range anti-tank guided missile. Photo: Twitter/@RAFAELdefense

Spike long-range anti-tank guided missile. Photo: Twitter/@RAFAELdefense

The Army is set to place a repeat order for Spike-LR (Long Range) Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) from Israel as part of emergency procurement, a defence source said on Tuesday. The decision comes days after the Army’s decision to place a repeat order for 72,400 Sig Sauer assault rifles from the U.S.

The emergency procurements come in the backdrop of continuing tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

The Spike order will be a repeat order for 12 launchers and around 250 missiles under emergency procurement, the source stated. Last year, the Army procured 12 launchers and around 250 missiles from Israel under the new financial powers for emergency procurements sanctioned by the Defence Ministry after the Balakot air strike. According to the manufacturer, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, the Spike LR is a 4th Gen missile, which can engage a target with precision at ranges up to 4 km.

Under the new emergency powers, armed forces were given a free hand to procure equipment worth up to ₹300 crore on a priority basis with deliveries stipulated to be completed in three months but extendable up to six months. Entirely new systems not in use were also allowed to be procured under the new powers last year.

Under a ₹700 crore deal in February 2019 with Sig Sauer of the U.S., the Army procured 72,400 SIG-716 assault rifles which have been provided to frontline troops involved in counter-insurgency operations. The remaining demand for assault rifles was to be met through the licence manufacture of Russian AK-203 rifles in India through a joint venture. However, the final deal has been stuck over the issue of pricing. An in-principle decision has been taken to place a repeat order and it is being processed, the source stated.

The Army has a much larger requirement for ATGMs which will be met through indigenous Man Portable ATGM under development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) after an earlier tender was cancelled.

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