India has signed a Rs. 200 crore (~$29 million) deal with Russia to acquire 9M120 Shturm-VM/Ataka anti-tank guided missiles for its Mi-35 attack helicopter fleet.
“The deal for acquiring ‘Strum Ataka’ anti-tank missiles was signed with Russia under the emergency clauses through which the missiles would be supplied within three months of contract signing,” ANI news agency reported citing government sources.
9M120 Ataka/Shturm-VM (NATO reporting name: AT-9 Spiral-2) is an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) designed as a successor model to the 9K114 Shturm (AT-6 Spiral) missile, which was introduced in the late 1970s.
The missile has radio command guidance and is also a Beam riding Semi-automatic command to line of sight (SACLOS). This missile’s primary variant was designed to defeat tanks with composite armour and explosive reactive armor (ERA).
Mil Mi-35 helicopters provide attack/low-capacity troop transport capability to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The IAF currently operates two squadrons (No. 104 Firebirds and No. 125 Gladiators) of Mi-25/35s
The IAF Mi-35 fleet is set to be replaced with AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters being procured from USA. On May 10, the Air Force took delivery of the first Apache during a ceremony at Boeing’s production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA. The first batch of helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India next month.