The army may have to wait longer to induct new anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), as the defence ministry has appointed a committee to examine a Rs 3,200-crore deal that was about to be closed.
An army source told Hindustan Times that a committee, headed by a two-star general, will examine procedural aspects of the deal for Israeli Spike ATGM systems, manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd.
While India chose the Israeli ATGM over US defence and aerospace firm Raytheon’s Javelin system three years ago, the deal was delayed as commercial issues needed to be ironed out.
“The deal was ready to be put up for clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Security. But now we will have to wait for the panel’s report,” the source said on the condition of anonymity .
India is negotiating the purchase of 321 launchers and 8,356 fire-and-forget missiles with the Israeli firm.
The missile can destroy armoured vehicles and bunkers from a distance of 2.5 km and the army plans to equip more than 400 of its infantry and mechanised units with the third-generation ATGM systems.
The army’s requirement for larger number of launchers and missiles will be met through licensed production of the ATGM systems by state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). The army currently uses Milan and Konkur ATGMs built by BDL under license from French and Russian firms, respectively.