Indian Defence

MP-ATGM: Reason Behind The Cancellation Of The INDO-ISREAL Spike Deal

In the modern world of today, there is always a need for equipping soldiers with better and lethal weapons to fight the enemy efficiently. India also noticed the need to equip its soldiers with state-of-art Man-portable-anti-tank-guided-missile (MP-ATGM). To fulfill the requirement, DRDO was asked to develop a state-of-art MP-ATGM. DRDO started working on the project in 2005.

Indigenously developed MP-ATGM successfully tested for the second time from the Ahmednagar range, Maharashtra on September 16, 2018.

By the time, the nag missile had also started giving fruits so it helped DRDO to make a man-portable missile based on the NAG technology. The aim of the project is to give a light-weight missile that could be operated by 1 or 2 personnel and that can effectively counter incoming enemy tanks.

DRDO came up with a missile of desired specifications that are of international standards. Although the missile is still under-development but its initial tests have gone completely successful. The DRDO promised to deliver the MP-ATGM by 2021. The government viewed it as an opportunity to boost make in India. And decided to scrap the deal with Israel.

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We will talk it about later on, but first, let’s discuss the specifications of MP-ATGM.

DRDO successfully tested MP-ATGM in the ranges of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh on September 11, 2019.

Specifications Of MP-ATGM

  • Mass – 14.5 kg (32 lb)
  • Length – 1,300 mm (4 feet 3 inch)
  • Diameter – 120 mm (4.7 inch)
  • Warhead – High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT)
  • Operational Range – 2.5 km
  • Guidance system – Imaging infra-red
  • Manufacturer – Bharat Dynamics Limited DRDO, VEM Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Indo-Israel Spike ATGM Deal

In December 2017, the Indian government scrapped a $500 mn deal with Rafael for 321 Spike ATGM launchers and 8,356 missiles only to reauthorize it in January 2018 during a state visit of  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India.

In 2014, India selected Spike missile over US’s FGM-148 Javelin missile.

Although large procurement of Spike ATGM was canceled but a small batch of 240 Spike ATGM and 12 launchers were ordered as a part of “emergency procurement”.

This became possible only after the the powers of vice-chief of army were increased and they were authorized to procure weapons and ammunition worth $72 million without any prior permission from Mod (Ministry of Defence).

The special powers were given to the vice- chief of army during the face-off between India and Pakistan in 2019 following Balakot airstrikes by the IAF.

Spike vs NAG MP-ATGM

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