Spike or Javelin? India Still Undecided on a Billion Dollar Javelin Anti-Tank Missile Deal

The Indian Army is planning to equip its ground forces with thousands of anti-tank missiles to be built in India. The Indian military considers two options, both of them exclusive – the FGM-148 Javelin, proposed under a Government-to-Government (G2G) program via U.S. Foreign Military Sale (FMS), and the Spike MR, proposed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, being the only bidder in an international tender, which specified characteristics and specifications only the Israeli company could meet.
The Indian Army plans to install the missiles on infantry combat vehicles currently carrying locally produced AT-5 or Milan missiles.

The Indian Ministry of Defense plans to order 321 launchers, and 8,356 missiles, plus 15 training simulators in a multi-phase arms package worth over one billion US$. Two options are currently on the table – the U.S. Javelin and the Israeli Spike MR.

The current decision by the Indian authorities clears the way for an official selection of Rafael as a preferred supplier of the missile but does not guarantee winning the order, since as a single supplier a company is most exposed to procedural and bureaucratic objections that are likely to delay the program, enabling competitors to gain pressure in hope for a wind change at the Indian MOD. Overall, a single supplier status is often approved for short term programs, justified by rapidly addressing urgent operational requirements. 
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