Spike anti-tank missile 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy Natan Flayer)
WASHINGTON – The Indian Army is about to order thousands of Spike anti-tank
missiles and peripheral equipment from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. in a
$1 billion deal, Defense News reported Thursday.
Indian Ministry of
Defense officials told the magazine that the order is for 321 launchers, 8,356
missiles, 15 training simulators and peripheral equipment.
Rafael was the
only bidder in the tender, which was published in June 2010, and the Indian Army
had to obtain a special permit to sign a deal on the basis of a tender with just
one potential vendor. General Dynamics Corporation , Raytheon Company,
Pan-European MBDA, and Russia's Rosoboron export decided not to participate in
Defense News quoted sources as saying that technology
transfer was the main obstacle to completing the deal.
The magazine did
not say whether the companies that stayed out of the tender refused to share
their technology with India, nor did it mention Rafael’s position on the
Defense News said that the Indian Army will receive various
configurations of the Spike, including ready-for-use missiles already assembled
in Israel, partly assembled missiles whose final assembly will take place in
India, and missiles that will be fully assembled by Bharat Dynamics Ltd., an
Indian government-owned company.
The Indian Army plans to install the
Spike missile systems on Russian-built combat vehicles. Indian officials said
that tests in battlefield conditions have been completed, and that the Spike
missiles met all the specifications set by the Indian Army: a range of 2.5
kilometers in day and night conditions, and a 90 percent accuracy rate. The
tender also stipulates that the missiles must have 3G active-passive fire-and-forget guidance systems.
On another matter, an Indian Army official said
that the Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile system, jointly built by Israel
Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) and Boeing Co., might become part of India’s
missile defense solution.