One Step Forward Two Steps Back Image Credit: Geopolitics
One Step Forward Two Steps Back Image Credit: Geopolitics

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

In another case of a procurement roadblock, the Army’s Anti-Tank Guided Missile procurement has misfired.

Mike Rajkumar

The Indian Army has an urgent requirement to induct a new generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) and it now appears that the service will need to wait to induct its choice of ATGM. Media reports emerging in November 2017 stated that the Request for Proposal (RFP) for procurement of the Spike missiles had been retracted. In response to the news, a Rafael spokesperson was quoted by PTI as saying, “Rafael has not been officially informed of any change in the decision to purchase Spike missiles. Spike is in use with 26 different militaries around the world, and was selected by India after a long and rigorous process, in which it successfully met all the requirements in a wide variety of combat test scenarios.” Surprisingly, no formal statement has been made by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the status of the Spike ATGM procurement till now. It now appears that the responsibility of providing a new generation ATGM to the Army has been handed over to the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

Rafael’s Spike ATGM emerged as the winner of an army requirement for a new ATGM in 2014. The deal was valued at approximately ₹3,200 crore for 321 launchers and 8,356 missiles. Additional orders were expected keeping in mind the operational requirements of the army to induct a new ATGM for its infantry soldiers and mechanised forces. Kalyani Group and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had formed a Joint Venture in February 2015 for deve

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