The Indian Army is planning to buy over 3,000 Milan 2T anti-tank guided missiles from France which will provide more firepower to Indian infantry units. This development comes after reports that Pakistan was planning purchase howitzer shells from Italy and get combat ready.
The sources in Defence Ministry said that “An Army proposal in this regard would come up for discussion at a high-level meeting of the Defence Ministry for buying more than 3,000 of the second-generation Milan 2T ATGMs which are license-produced by the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in partnership with a French Firm.”
Indian Army has a requirement of around 70,000 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and around 850 launchers of different types. It is also looking for third-generation ATGMs with a longer range than that of its existing Milan-2T and Konkurs ATGMs.
Sources in Defence Ministry said the procurement of Milan 2T ATGMs is likely to be the stopgap arrangement before the Army gets its homegrown third-generation ATGM which is undergoing trials.
Milan-2 ATGM is a French second-generation with a range of over 2 kilometres is produced in India by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). In 2018, India had cancelled a programme to buy the Spike ATGM from Israel as a result of the indigenous developments in this direction.
The DRDO has, so far, conducted two successful trials of the man-portable ATGMs. During the current government tenure, several programmes for acquiring weapon systems from foreign vendors have been clear out in support of indigenous programmes.
In 2017, a Defence Acquisition Council meeting headed by the then Defence minister Arun Jaitley had preferred Akash surface to air missile over vendors from Israel and Sweden for supplying Short-Range Surface to Air Missile (SR-SAM) programme valued above 18,000 crore rupees.
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