The Indian Defense Ministry on Friday (March 19) signed a deal with the state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited to provide 4,960 MILAN-2T anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to the Army.
The missile deal, pegged at Rs 1,188 crore, will be a huge boost for the Indian Army, which has been looking to procure advanced weapons. The induction of the home-grown ATGMs into the Indian Army will be completed in three years.
The weapons deal, which is in sync with the federal government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, is a ‘repeat order’ of the contract signed in March of 2016.
The Defence Ministry issued a statement after inking the deal and said that it was a big opportunity for the Indian defense industry.
“This project is a big opportunity for the defense industry to showcase its capability and will be a step in the direction of achieving the goal of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in the defense sector,” the ministry said in its statement.
Helina Trial Video pic.twitter.com/06kHn21XNE
— DRDO (@DRDO_India) February 19, 2021
The Modi government has been pushing ‘Make-in-India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) initiatives to reduce dependence on foreign-made weapons. The country has cut defense imports by a whopping 33 percent in recent years, according to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The Milan-2T ATGM
The Milan-2T Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) is produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited under license from MBDA Missile Systems, France.
It is a man-portable (Infantry) second-generation ATGM, which boasts the ability to destroy battle tanks fitted with explosive reactive armor, moving and stationary targets. It is a Tandem Warhead ATGM that has a range of around 1,850 meters.
The missiles can be fired from the ground as well as vehicle-based launchers.
Last month, India had successfully test-fired indigenously-developed ‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’ ATGMs, paving their induction into the Army and the Indian Air Force respectively.
‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’ are third-generation anti-tank guided missiles that can engage targets both on direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.