he Army is set to place a repeat order for Spike-LR (Long Range) Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) from Israel as part of emergency procurement. The decision comes days after the Army’s decision to place a repeat order for 72,400 Sig Sauer assault rifles from the U.S.
Spike-LR Anti Tank Guided Missiles
The emergency procurements come in the backdrop of continuing tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. The Spike order will be a repeat order for 12 launchers and around 250 missiles under emergency procurement. Last year, the Army procured 12 launchers and around 250 missiles from Israel under the new financial powers for emergency procurements sanctioned by the Defence Ministry after the Balakot air strike. According to the manufacturer, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, the Spike LR is a 4th Gen missile, which can engage a target with precision at ranges up to 4 km.
Spike is a fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge highly explosive anti tank (HEAT) warhead, currently in its fourth-generation. It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants. The missile is equipped with an imaging infrared seeker. It has lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance.
The Army has a much larger requirement for ATGMs which will be met through indigenous Man Portable ATGM under development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Under the new emergency powers, armed forces were given a free hand to procure equipment worth up to ₹300 crore on a priority basis with deliveries stipulated to be completed in three months but extendable up to six months. Entirely new systems not in use were also allowed to be procured under the new powers last year.