As technology grows the combat weapons are getting deadlier. The Main Battle tanks always decided the fate of the war but today the warfare has gone beyond. In 2010 former Army General V.K Singh had reported critical shortages in India’s Ammunition Reserves. One of the major affected areas was the ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles). Well it is not that we never had any but none belonged to the current generation.
To do away with this deficit the Indian Army selected the Israeli Spike missile. But the cherry on the cake is “Make in India”. Israel’s Rafael Defense Systems Ltd has formed a joint venture with Kalyani Group to produce anti-tank guided missiles for the Indian armed forces that are also likely to be exported to South-East Asian countries.
First Private Missile manufacturing company:
Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems Pvt. Ltd, as the joint venture is called, has been set up with an investment of Rs60-70 crore, with Kalyani Group holding 51% stake and the Israeli partner the rest. The Spike missiles are supplied by Israel to 20 countries, including Nato members. “This is the first private sector facility which will become a missile house,” said Kalyani Group chairman Baba Kalyani.
It is very important to note that we are developing our own ATGM in the name of NAG and it’s still in development phase and with the spike around it will not only get a breathing space but both technical assistance and supplier base.
As Baba Kalyani says “We will start producing these missiles in weeks for Indian armed forces” and this very reason has very high strategic importance and in today’s scenario the wars are psychological and deterrence make a huge impact. With an in-house capability and tried and tested partner the spike is all set to give stare to dragon.
Not only its important as we are currently involved in stare game with china but also it has another strategic: export to South-East Asian countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia. These are the potential markets for spike.” World knows that we are equipping Vietnam and Philippines with the made in India weapons like Akash & Brahmos and now if spike joins the party it will have a huge strategic importance.
Make In India
The joint venture is linked to the request Indian armed forces made in 2010 for these missiles. The order from the Indian forces is worth about $1 billion, spread over a couple of years, and the final approvals are likely to come in a few weeks, Kalyani said.
“This is the first such advanced missile system under ‘Make in India’,” Kalyani said, referring to the government programme aimed at encouraging the manufacturing. The facility will be 90% localized and parts will be procured locally in Hyderabad. It will create about 300 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs, Kalyani said. “The establishment of this facility is a sign of our commitment to walk the talk in terms of partnering with Indian industry towards indigenous manufacture,” said Rafael president and CEO Yoav Har-Even.
The 24,000 sq.ft facility was set up in 10 months and was inaugurated by Telangana industries ministers K.T. Rama Rao on Thursday.
This is the second joint venture factory with an Israeli company by Indian Firm Kalyani Group, which recently announced setting up of an artillery guns facility in Pune. The Hyderabad facility also plans to make gliders bombs as the next product for Indian Armed Forces.
It’s well known fact that the jobs which manufacturing can generate are of great importance as it not only create mere job but an eco-system to further grow along with the indirect jobs. Though this factor doesn’t appear fancy but this unit will employ more than 300 engineers and provide indirect employment to 1,000 people.
Considering the expansion plans to make glide bombs and potential to export the export the deadly stick to numerous South-East Asian countries the graph is all set to take a steep SPIKE.
Wake up call for US:
In 2010, India had come very close to purchasing the Javelin weapon, which has range of 2.5 kilometres, through the Foreign Military Sales route, but the US refused to transfer technology for the system and the proposal ultimately fell through.
In 2014 MoD selected Israeli Spike ATGM and which is now all set to be part of 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanized infantry units with new-generation weapons and replace the second- generation French-made Milan missile.
We would now see the induction of the Following ATGM’s
- 8,000 Spike Missile on order (With a requirement of 40,000) – Induction 2017
- 300 Nag Missiles and 13 Vehicles (Initial Order)
- 9M 113 Konkurs – 10,000 on order
- 3UBK-INVAR – 25,000 on order
Hope this wakeup call makes US understand that India has options and they can opt those. This wakeup call was given to Russia earlier which disagreed to do TOT of Smerch and Pinaka MK2 came in existence.
Defence analyst’s Delight
Any Indian defence analyst at this point of time will be extremely delighted and the stage is set for India to take a leap and get on the world stage as a mighty nation. With the Chinook, Apache, Rafael on the order and LCH & LCA in making a perfect blend has been obtained. We always spoke about modernization of the military but things appeared only on paper but time is changing with M777 a field gun after 30 years, fourth gen ATGM in-house production the future of the Indian defence manufacturing appears bright.