India’s army may opt to conduct a $1 billion military defense contract with Israel rather than the United States, showcasing the increasingly strong competition between the two countries in providing defensive solutions throughout the world.
According to an article in the India Times, the Indian Army initially planned to purchase American FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), but may instead purchase Israeli ‘Spike’ ATGMs because of a US hesitance to provide “transfer of technology” license (ToT) to India which would enable the country to produce its own anti-tank weapons after the initial purchase.
“The Javelin imbroglio has once again rekindled long-held fears in the Indian defence establishment about the US not being a reliable long-term supplier of cutting-edge military technology. India also detests American conditions on “intrusive end-user inspections” of weapons sold to its armed forces,” the article said.
The defense contract includes the provision of 2,000 launchers and 24,000 missiles.
The report notes that Israel is India’s second largest defense provider after Russia and said this sale would constitute the third major missile program between India and Israel. Deals between the two countries for military technology are worth approximately $1 billion a year.