Why is India buying ATGMs from Israel over nag missiles?
Anti tank missile has mainly three categories based on their design, role and mission profile. Vehicle mounted ATGM (like NAG), man portable ATGM( Spike-MR) and helicopter launch ATGM ( like DRDO Helina or Dhruvastra).
We are buying isreali man portable anti tank guided missile named as Spike-MR. This 14 kg missile has range of 2.5 km. It’s launcher weight is only 5 kg. It can easily carry by two soldiers on their back. Due to its light weight, it can quickly deploy in any part of battle field. Due to its very small profile, it’s not easily detectable in battle field.
The 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, a defence source said on Tuesday. 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, the source stated. 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.
DHRUVASTRA/MPATGM is a third generation Man-Portable Anti-Tank Missile to be used by Infantry and Parachute battalions of the Indian Army developed by State-owned DRDO in partnership with Private sector company VEM Technologies Ltd which is helping in sub-system manufacturing for the DRDO.
DHRUVASTRA is the Indian Air Force specific variant of HELINA Weapon Systems. Developed and manufactured indigenously by Bharat Dynamics Limited with technology support form Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The HELINA Weapon Systems is Helicopter based NAG missile, while DHRUVASTRA is Dhruv based HELINA, Dhruv is Hinduatan Aeronautics Limited’s utility helicopter, wherein eight missiles are carried in two quadruple launchers.
The missile is equipped with Active Imaging InfraRed (IIR) cadmium zinc tellurium (CdZnTe) seeker and millimetric wave (mmW) guidance system, also incorporated into the guidance system is Charge-Coupled Device Camera (CCD camera) which makes the missile less prone to jamming.
Missile carries the warhead of 8 KG and has a weight of 42 KG, is 1.90 metres in length having diameter of 190 millimetres and wingspan of 400 millimetres.
The requirement is 8000 missile so without completing trials Army will not induct MPTAGM. Recent purcharse of Spike MR is temporary solution in backdrop of recent clashes with china and pakistan. India’s army is waiting for drdo to start mass production of MPTAGM missile
DRDO along with VEM Technologies is also developing a MPATGM ( Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile ) which will be ready for mass production by 2020 and will be ready for induction in 2021 onwards . Purchasing 1600 spike missile will cost $500 million where NAG is comparatively too cheap to produce and maintain.