India is considering purchase of Israel’s Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) through the government-to-government (G-to-G) route, two months after it decided to cancel a deal to procure the weapons.
In November, the defence ministry had decided to retract the process to acquire a batch of Spike missiles from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, a deal which would have been worth $500 million, after the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) expressed confidence of producing the indigenous Nag ATGM.
Israel’s Rafael also issued a statement after it received an official notification from India's Ministry of Defence about cancellation of the deal.
But the official sources told PTI on Wednesday that the government is now examining the possibility of purchasing the missiles from Israel through the G-to-G route like it did in sealing the deal for procuring 36 Rafale jets from France.
Official sources further said the proposal to acquire the missile system from the Israeli firm faced hurdles when it apparently expressed reservations in ensuring full transfer of technology as per the provisions of the 'Make in India' initiative.
India's Kalyani group and Israel's state-run Rafael Advanced Defence Systems had commissioned Rs 70 crore production facility near Hyderabad in August last year, anticipating that the Israeli firm would bag the contract.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit India next week and ways to further deepen the already close defence ties between the two countries may figure during his talks with Indian leaders here, the report added.