India Makes ‘Emergency Purchase’ of Israeli Spike Anti-Tank Missiles

Asia & Pacific

India’s Defense Ministry has moved to buy 240 Spike guided anti-tank missiles and 12 launchers from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, part of an “emergency purchase” authorized by New Delhi following the February showdown on the Pakistani border.

Under a special emergency provision, Indian Army Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Devraj Anbu has the authority to buy up to $71.8 million worth of goods and war materiel without seeking Ministry of Defense (MOD) approval, and he’s using that to stock up on guided anti-tank missiles in the wake of a tense showdown with Pakistan earlier this year.

It’s unknown what the cost of the deal is, but sources told the Israeli business journal Globes it was worth “tens of millions of dollars.” Rafael hasn’t commented on the deal.

While India once passed on a deal that would’ve made the Spike medium-range (MR) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) its primary anti-tank weapon, the army was still interested in obtaining some of the weapons systems for tests this summer. The decision to make the emergency purchase prior to that testing was made during the five-day biannual Army Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi that ended on April 13, IHS Jane’s reported, during which the military leaders made frank and damning assessments of their current situation.

India has repeatedly toyed with buying the Spike missile. In 2011, New Delhi elected to sign a $500…

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