Wednesday, July 28, 2010

India Chooses U.S.-Built Javelin Anti-Tank Missile

The Indian Army has decided to buy the Javelin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), Defence Ministry sources here said.

The decision comes within a month of media reports that Pakistan had included the Javelin on its wish list of U.S. weapons it wants to purchase. Senior Indian Defence Ministry officials had favored buying Israeli-made Spike ATGMs until those reports.

India's Javelin-purchase decision is final, ministry sources said. The missile's sale to India was approved in the U.S. last week, but the amount and cost are not yet known.

The fire-and-forget Javelin weapon system is produced by a joint venture of U.S. companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The anti-armor weapon also has a direct-attack mode for use against buildings or fortifications.

The Indian Army began considering acquiring the Javelin after it rejected the Spike during trials in 2008.

The Army's tests of the Javelin in land exercises last year were satisfactory, a service official said.

The Javelin purchase would be in addition to the Indian Nag ATGM, which already has been ordered. The Army's current ATGM arsenal includes old Milan and Konkours missiles.

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