INDIAN ARMY TO PROCURE JAVELIN
By Bulbul Singh
13 Oct 09. The Indian Army plans to procure unspecified numbers of new generation Javelin U.S. made anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM) through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Route. The procurement comes even as production orders have been placed for the indigenous Nag ATGM.
While India’s requirement for new generation ATGM’s is around 6000
pieces, sources said, the order through FMS for Javelin will be a few hundred pieces only.
In December 2006 a global tender was floated inviting Rafael, MBDA, Raytheon and Rosoboronoexport, under a tender worth $37 million. During technical evaluation only Rafael was short-listed. While Raytheon did not participate then, the ATGMs of other vendors were not found up to the Qualitative requirements.
However, the current order for Raytheon under FMS comes despite Raytheon not participating in the bids in 2006 because it did not get requisite permission from U.S. authorities.
While the trials for Spike are still inconclusive, the Indian Army has demanded that it be provided with a new generation ATGMs, which explains the sudden order for Javelin.
The Indian Army needs Javelin for use by Indian Army Special Forces which will enable them to operate from confined spaces, therefore enabling the operators to take firing positions in bunkers, buildings etc.
U.S. troops fielded Javelin in the joint Indo-U.S land exercises, code named Yudha Abhyas which began on October 12 at India’s artillery base, Babina cantonment ,in Jhansi District of Uttar Pradesh state.
Over 300 personnel of the Indian Army’s Mechanised Infantry battalion and Striker Brigade Combat Team of the US Army are participating in this exercise.
“The Indian troops will get a chance to familiarize themselves with the Javelin during the Indo-U.S. exercises before the weaponry is actually received,” said a senior Indian Army official.
Sources in the Indian Army however said they will continue to evaluate Spike in addition to buying the Nag ATGM adding that the Javelin purchase will not mean the closure of purchase options for other varieties of ATGM’s.
The Indian Army has also firmed up its requirements for over 3000 new generation ATGMs for T-72 and T-90 tanks and BMP-II infantry combat vehicles. These requirements are in addition to the homegrown Nag ATGM, which has also received production orders after two decades of development.
The Nag ATGM is a 4-kilometer-range missile which will be produced at state-owned Bharat Dynamics. The Nag is a third-generation, all-weather, top-attack, fire-and-forget missile, one of five missile systems developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. Design work started in 1988 and the first tests were carried out in November 1990.