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India likely to seal Spike missile deal with Israel soon

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India is likely to soon finalise with Israel purchase of a batch of Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), months after New Delhi scrapped a previously negotiated deal to procure the weapon systems from that country.

Sources said the two countries have been engaged in finalising the deal.

In November last, the defence ministry had decided to retract the process to acquire a batch of Spike missiles from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems at a cost of USD 500 million.

However, before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit here in January, the government had indicated that it was considering purchase of the ATGMs from Israel through the government-to-government (G-to-G) route.

Netanyahu, days after his India visit, too had said that India will buy the Israeli missile systems and that the final details and scope of the deal were being worked out.

After cancelling the deal in November, the defence ministry had asked premier defence research laboratory DRDO to develop similar missiles with indigenous technology.

Sources said the government decided to buy a batch of the anti-tank missile as it will take at least three years for Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to produce the weapons.

They said government may go for purchasing the missiles from Israel through the government-to-government route like it did in sealing the deal for procuring 36 Rafale jets from France.

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India  Israel  Spike  Missile  Military  
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