The Indian army has decided to urgently procure anti-tank missiles from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., according to reports in the Indian media. The reported procurement is for 240 Spike anti-tank missiles and 12 launchers.
The sudden procurement decision taken by the Indian army in recent days follows an assessment of the current situation. Within the framework of the powers held by the Indian army, it can make independent procurements of up to $6 billion annually without receiving approval from India's Ministry of Defense.
Sources believe that this deal is worth tens of millions of dollars. Rafael is expected to deliver the missiles and launchers in the very near future.
The urgent needs of the Indian army's land forces for Spike missiles follows internal disputes within the country over a protracted period that has delayed the Indian army's extensive program for being equipped with Rafae's Spike missiles.
Back in 2011, the Indian army decided to buy thousands of Spike missiles for over $500 million. But then a dispute broke out between the Indian army and the DRDO, the Indian Ministry of Defense's defense research and development agency, which wanted to promote the development program for the Indian made NAG-190 missile.
Defense sources in Israel believe that the development process for the NAG-190 will take several more years, even though there have been reports in recent months of trial firings of the missile.
In January 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a visit to India and in meetings with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi he tried to revive the deal. He was accompanied on the visit by Rafael CEO Gen. (res.) Yoav Har Even but to no avail and the missile deal has remained frozen.
Rafael declined to comment on the latest reports.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 17, 2019
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