India is likely to restart the $500 million Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) deal from Israeli firm Rafael it had cancelled before signing the deal earlier this month.
Following the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to New Delhi, the deal is likely to be reconsidered after India cancelled it after state-run Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) had expressed confidence of producing the indigenous Nag ATGM barely two weeks before Netanyahu’s visit.
"Following the talks I had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian government has informed us that it is putting the Spike deal back on track,” Netanyahu said in a statement Wednesday.
“They are reauthorizing the Spike deal,” Netanyahu told Israeli journalists.
Netanyahu’s remarks on the deal did not spell out if it would still be worth $500 million. A proposal for fewer Spike ATGMs is likely to be considered to meet urgent operational requirements of the Army until the DRDO-developed missile is inducted into service, Financial Express reported Thursday.
According to earlier reports, India is likely to purchase Spike missile through the government-to-government (G-to-G) route. 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.
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.