India-Israel anti-tank missile deal back on

In 2014, it was reported India would buy at least 8,000 Spike missiles and more than 300 launchers in a deal worth 32 billion rupees ($525 million). Since then, the deal has fallen through, but as of this past January, appears to be back on.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, January 18, 2018, that he had been informed by New Delhi that it had decided to put a major anti-tank missile deal “back on track.” Netanyahu called the revisiting of the Spike anti-tank missile deal as “very important,” adding that “there will be many more deals.” There was no immediate comment from Indian officials.

India has been looking for a modern anti-tank/ infantry strike missile to take the place of MBDA Milan missiles that have been produced under license by Bharat Dynamics. The finalists in this competition were the American fire-and-forget Javelin, and Israel’s Spike with its combination of wire guided or fire-and-forget modes. As of October 2014, Spike appears to have won, despite offers from the USA to involve India in developing the next version of the Javelin.

The Spike infantry system consists of a missile in its canister, a tripod, a Command Launch Unit that contains the optics and firing system, and a battery. It can go from “off” to firing in less than 30 seconds, as the operator lays the cross hairs on the aim point using either the 10x day sight, or the clip-on thermal imaging night sight.

Spike-MR/ Gill is designed as an infantry-only weapon, and weighs 26 kg/ 57.2 pounds when fully assembled (13.3 kg missile in canister, 5 kg CLU, 4 kg Thermal Sight, 1 kg missile, 2.8 kg tripod). Its effective range is 2.5 km. Spike-LR is a vehicle and infantry weapon that uses common systems, and extends effective range to 4 km. Vehicle variants include launch mountings and a control console, and Spike has been integrated into missile-capable Remote Weapons Systems.






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