In a move that will further deepen India-Israel strategic cooperation, Rafael of Israel and India’s Kalyani Group are forming a manufacturing joint venture (JV) to produce Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) in India and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will be the system integrator, informed sources told The Hindu .
Spike is a third generation, fire-and-forget, man-portable, anti-tank missile. In all, about 40,000 missiles are required to equip the Army’s 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised regiments.
In October last year the Defence Acquisition Council chaired by then Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had cleared the Spike ATGM deal worth Rs. 3,200 crore deal for 8,000 plus missiles, 300 plus launchers and requisite transfer of technology to an Indian firm. The U.S. had lobbied hard for its Javelin missiles with offer of joint development and production of next generations missiles for use by both countries.
The companies are in talks with the Telangana government to procure land to set up a manufacturing facility in Hyderabad as BDL’s missile unit is located there. The JV will conform to the Foreign Direct Investment guidelines with 51% ownership held by the Kalyani Group.
Sources said the plan was to start production in about two years.