The Army and IAF have now begun to induct advanced Israeli anti-tank guided missiles with longer ranges and greater armour-penetration capabilities, amid the two-year long military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh. The Israeli ‘tank killers’ were ordered under emergency procurements last year due to the troop stand-off with China, which is yet to show any signs of de-escalation. The sheer utility of such weapons has been demonstrated during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Ukrainian troops armed with US-origin Javelin ATGMs and western next-generation light anti-tank light missiles have destroyed hundreds of Russian tanks and other armoured vehicles since the conflict began. The Israeli family of Spike ATGMs is equally lethal and versatile. The Army is inducting the Spike LR-2 launchers and missiles, which have a ground strike range of 5.5-km, while IAF is integrating its Russian-origin Mi-17 V5 armed helicopters with Spike missiles that can destroy ground targets around 30-km away.
“Both the fifth-generation ATGMs are being inducted in limited numbers under emergency procurements to plug operational gaps. ” a defence source said.
Top Navy commanders will this week review India’s maritime security and preparedness, including the operational situation in the Indian Ocean Region with an eye on China as well as the fallout of the Russia--Ukraine conflict. The four-day naval commanders’ conference, which will start from Monday, and will be chaired by Admiral R Hari Kumar, will be addressed by defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar.