The Indian Army has test-fired two Israeli-made Spike long-range (LR) anti-tank missiles that are capable of engaging targets at ranges up to 4km.
The firing of the newly acquired fourth-generation anti-armour weapon system was performed at the army’s Infantry School at Mhow in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Spike LR provides the Indian Army with fire-and-forget and ‘fire, observe and update’ capabilities.
Developed and designed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the missile is equipped with an inbuilt seeker to allow firers to operate the system and engage targets during the day and at night.
During the testing, the Spike LR missiles successfully hit their targets.
The weapon system is expected to deliver significant firepower to the army when compared to the second-generation missiles that have been in use for more than 30 years.
The Indian Government released a request for proposal in 2011 for the procurement of more than 8,000 missiles, the Press Trust of India has reported.
Spike stood out as the lone missile that qualified to meet the requirement of the armed forces.
Although the government completed negotiations for the purchase, the programme could not move further after the defence ministry decided to have a locally manufactured missile system.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation is building a missile system in line with the government’s decision.
Rafael was quoted by Business Standard as saying: “Both the DRDO’s ATGM programme, as well as the invitation to Indian industry to develop a third-gen missile will need a rethink, as having a fourth-gen missile will put the plan for development of a third-gen missile questionable.”
The army procured 240 Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel to meet emergency needs.
Earlier this week, media reports stated that the army will deploy the Spike missiles on its border with Pakistan.