India Successfully Test-Fires Missile Rival of Israeli Spike & US's Javelin
India has successfully test-fired its third generation anti-tank missile at the Pokhran range. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Prospina missile is claimed to be far superior to Javelin of the US and Israeli Spike missile.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – Prospina, which has 'fire & forget' and 'top attack' capabilities, will be highly supportive to the mechanized infantry and airborne forces of Indian Army. The test also comes a few days ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel.
"The Fire and Forget 3rd generation ATGM Nag is incorporated with many advanced technologies including the imaging infrared radar (IIR) seeker with integrated avionics, a capability which is possessed by few nations in the world. The capabilities of the top attack ATGM Nag is unique in nature and in today's mission it successfully destroyed the target," India's Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday evening.
"The successful flight test of 3rd generation ATGM Nag further strengthens the country's defense capabilities," Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy, scientific advisor to country's defense minister & Director General (Missiles and Strategic Systems), said.
Last year, guided flight tests of the missile were carried out with the objective of demonstrating range capabilities of IIR seeker during the worst time of the day in summer. But, it had reported some problems in differentiating the target from the surroundings in temperature above 47 degree Celsius. On the Army's request, scientists made some technical changes and fitted highly sensitive detector for sensing infra red signals.
The Indian Army has a total requirement of 40,000 anti-tank guided missiles in the next 20 years and desperately needs missiles like Prospina which can hit high-speed moving tanks without support of operator.
DRDO has developed this missile at a cost of more than $51 million. Israeli Spike has won the government tender in 2014 but single vendor situation may create problem for inking deal expected during Modi's visit to Israel in July. India's defense procurement policy has not allowed such purchase where only one company becomes eligible for tender.
Indian government may consider Spike purchase as Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has agreed to transfer the technology of Spike missile under Make in India project whereas contract may be signed for building 1,500 systems and around 30,000 additional missiles in India.
On the other hand, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Company had entered into a deal with India's Tata Power for the co-development and production of Javelin anti-armor missile system last September.
If Army officers are satisfied with Prospina, the Indian government is likely to prefer it against any foreign missile.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|