12:00 AM, October 27, 2010
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U.S. may bend FMS rules to participate in Indian ATGM tender with “FMS only”Javelin missile
The United States is likely to bend its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) rules by offering the Lockheed Martin- Raytheon manufactured Javelin Anti-tank guided missile(ATGM) in a tender for approximately 1000 units of the highly effective ATGM. India had floated a tender in which the Israeli Spiker missile is also a contender. FMS deals only involve direct government-to-government transactions and the U.S. government does not participate in competitive tenders for defence equipment sales. Executives of Lockheed Martin indicated during a background briefing in New Delhi that the missile was classed as "FMS only", which means only the U.S. government could authorize sale of the missile after direct negotiations with the purchasing country's government. FMS transactions allow the U.S. government to impose certain conditions which individual companies may not be able to do while dealing with foreign governments. Most high tech defense equipment which the U.S. considers vital to maintain its technological edge, is classed under FMS and Uncle Sam buys the equipment from the manufacturer and sells it to the buying country's defence force. The Javelin has completed its trails in India, according to the Lockheed Martin executives and they are awaiting the next move from the Indian establishment. India will evaluate the Javelin against the Israeli Spike, man-portable ATGM which has seen sales success in a number of countries. While the U.S. Javelin is considered one of the most accurate ATGMs in the world with proven systems, the Israeli "Spike", manufactured by Rafael has met with more sales success and is operational in a number of countries in Europe, South America and Asia. The large size of the Indian order, upwards of 1000 missiles initially, with a strong possibility of follow-on orders could be worth upwards of $250 million initially.
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