The Indian Army began inducting a limited number of Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) in October, according to local reports.
The first lot of 210 missiles, with a dozen launchers, reportedly arrived in India in late Septemeber.
The Army ordered the fire-and-forget Spike MR ATGMs to meet its immediate operational requirements until the indigenous Man-Portable ATGM (MPATGM) being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is ready for induction.
Indian Army currently operates several models of Russian/Soviet and French ATGMs. It has a large requirement for third-generation ATGMs, with a strike range of over 2.5 km and fire-and-forget capabilities, to equip all its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanized infantry units.
Spike is an Israeli fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile with a tandem-charge high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead.
The missile is designed and developed by Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants, and is currently in its fifth-generation.
As well as engaging and destroying targets within the line-of-sight of the launcher (“fire-and-forget”), some variants of the missile are capable of making a top attack profile through a “fire, observe and update” guidance method (essentially lock-on after launch (LOAL)); the operator tracking the target, or switching to another target, optically through the trailing fiber-optic wire (or RF link in the case of the vehicle-mounted, long-range NLOS variant) while the missile is climbing to altitude after launch. This is similar to the lofted trajectory flight profile of the US FGM-148 Javelin ATGMs.