India urgently received 240 Israeli ATGM Spike LR
In November 2017, I wrote about the cancellation by India of a practically signed $ 525 million contract with Rafael for the supply of Spike ATGMs and spoke in detail about the MPATGM (Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile) program of India in the framework of which this ATGM had to be purchased (321 complexes, 8.356 ATGMs for them, 15 simulators and related services). In late December 2017, Rafael received an official notification from the Government of India about the cancellation of the transaction.
Many saw the reason for the abolition in the machinations of Americans trying to push India their FGM-148 Javelin. However, the real reason was the pressure of the Defense Research and Development Office of the Indian Ministry of Defense DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization). DRDO argued that the Indian industry, with experience in creating ATGMs Nag and Anamika, will be able to create a lightweight ATGM 3rd generation in 3-4 years.
Since 1988, Nag (Prospina) has been developed in 5 different versions: land transport, land for NAMICA ATGM (Nag Missile Carrier, on the BMP-2 chassis; apparently this is the 'Anamika' mentioned above), land portable, helicopter (Helina) and aviation. In most cases, we are talking about a heavy missile (43 kg, a range of 4 km in the land version), the land portable version (the so-called MPATGM, Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile) is a smaller version of Nag with a mass of 14.5 kg and a range of 2.5 km (i.e. direct competitor to Spike-MR). Of all the options, only NAMICA ATGMs were adopted (443 missiles and 13 complexes were ordered, according to other sources, 300 missiles and 25 complexes, then another 15+ complexes are planned to be purchased). It was reported that mass production began at the end of 2019 and the supply of the first 40 missiles. MPATGM at the end of 2019 was still in trials.
In addition to Nag in all its variants, Amogha ATGM is being developed in India. This missile has a maximum firing range of 2.5-2.8 km, options Amogha-I and Amogha-III (see details on bmpd). Amogha-I was first tested in 2015, Amogha-III is still under development and has not reached the test stage.
Without Nag, Amogha and Spike, the situation with the ATGM of the Indian army is as follows:
- 9M113 and 9M113M "Konkurs" (AT-5 Spandrel) - 15,140 missiles, for BMP-2 and complexes 9K113 "Konkurs" and 9K113M "Konkurs-M" (in 2019 a new batch was purchased for $ 110 million);
- LAHAT - ATGM for tanks Arjun Mk-1/2;
- 9M119 Svir (AT-11 Sniper) - ATGM for T-72 T-90 tanks;
- 9M120 Ataka-B (AT-9 Spiral-2) -?;
- 9K114 "Sturm" (AT-6 Spiral) - 800 missiles;
- 9M133 Kornet (AT-14 Spriggan) - 250 launchers + 3,000 missiles;
- 9M111 “Bassoon” (AT-4 Spigot) - 100 launchers (purchased in 1988-1990);
- MILAN 2T - 4,100launchers + 30,000+ missiles.
But the list above is not complete. There are also attack helicopters as part of the Indian Air Force. There are 15 Mi-35s, 22 AH-64E (I) (it is planned to buy another 6) and 8 HAL Rudra (total 16 ordered). Rudra will receive Helina, after completion of its development. Mi-35s use the Sturm-V (9M114 missiles) and Ataka-B (9M120 missiles mentioned in the list above); in 2019, an additional batch of these missiles for $ 29 million was urgently purchased. But for the AH-64E (I), Hellfire missiles are used, not mentioned above. With the first batch of 22 helicopters, India bought 812 AGM-114L-3 Longbow Hellfire and 542 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire II. For an additional batch of 6 AH-64E (I), it is planned to purchase 180 AGM-114L-3 and 90 AGM-114R-3.
As for Spike, since the beginning of 2018, the issue of purchasing this rocket has been raised again and again:
- 10.01.18 - it is reported that the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is weighing the cancellation of the decision to break the deal;
- 01/17/18 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his 3-day visit to India confirmed the message of 01/10/18;
- 03/07/18 - a report that a week earlier India had successfully tested the Nag rocket (the so-called Nag 190), which again called into question the possibility of resuming the deal;
- 04/15/18 - reports of new US attempts to sell Javelin to India as an alternative to Spike;
- 05/01/18 - India approved the purchase of 25 NAMICA and 300 Nag missiles; Nevertheless, we are talking about a rocket of a different class and this does not affect the purchase of Spike;
- 06.24.19 - India again announces the rejection of a large-scale purchase of Spike in favor of the development of MPATGM.
Despite the cancellation of the contract for $ 525 million, in April 2019, the Indian Army approved an urgent order for a small batch of Spike. Initially, it was about 12 launchers and 210 Spike MR missiles (2.5 km), then about 12 launchers and 240 Spike LR missiles (4 km). Apparently, the contract was signed at the end of June 2019, since it was about deliveries within 3 months from the date of the transaction. The first batch arrived in India at the end of September 2019. 02/06/20 Rafael confirmed the completion of the delivery, including 240 Spike LR missiles. Apparently, the value of this transaction amounted to $ 40 million.