Advantage Pak, worries Army, as $500m Israeli missile deal ends

Prime News, National (New Delhi), November 20:- The government’s decision to opt out of a $500 million missile deal with Israel will leave Indian soldiers badly out-gunned by Pakistani forces, army sources said today. The bottom line is this: Pakistan has portable anti-tank missiles for its infantry soldiers which can strike Indian tanks and bunkers that are at a distance of 3-4 km; India’s equivalent missiles have a range of just 2 km.

India has exited advanced negotiations to buy 1,600 Spike anti-tank guided missiles because it wants a similar missile, which would boost the army’s firepower, to be developed and built at home as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to reduce the country’s dependence on importing arms. Spike is a man-portable “fire and forget’ missile that can hit moving targets such as a tank. It is versatile since the missile independently tracks the target upon being fired.  This allows the infantry soldier who has fired the missile to quickly move for cover. Spike is produced by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.

Pakistani foot soldiers operate a locally-made variant of the Chinese HJ-8 missile that can strike targets almost twice as far away as the missiles currently operated by the Indian Army. Pakistan’s infantry also operates the US-built TOW missile which can strike targets such as tanks and bunkers even further away.

The Chinese HJ-8, which Pakistan calls the “Baktar-Shikan”, is designed to defeat the latest generation of explosive reactive armour mounted on the T-90, the spearhead of the Indian Army’s tank formations. These missiles are meant to strike deep inside Pakistani territory in the event of a war. The Baktar-Shikan has a range of between 3 and 4 kilometres. Pakistani’s TOW missiles, once the mainstay for US forces, can hit targets 4 kilometres away and has been extensively proven in combat. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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