In 2010, India sent a letter of request to the U.S. government for procurement of the third-generation missile off the shelf under the U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) program. Defense Minister A.K. Antony did not give any indication of the quantity of missiles to be procured or the number of the weapons to be made in India under the accompanying transfer-of-technology license.
Indian army spokesman Col. Jagdeep Dahiya told Aviation Week on June 7 that “India is likely to get approximately 8,000 [Javelin] missiles and 300 launchers.”
He says the deal is “under process,” but declined to divulge any financial details. “That will get finalized once the contract is signed,” Dahiya says, without providing any time frame. However, informed sources say the deal could be worth $1.5-2 billion.
Indian infantry units are currently equipped with variants of the second-generation, 2-km-range (1.2-mi.) Milan and 4-km (2-5-mi.) Konkurs anti-tank missiles. These missiles are made by the state-run Bharat Dynamics Ltd. under license from France’s MBDA and the Russian Tula Machinery Design Bureau.
The Indian army began considering acquiring the Javelin after it rejected the Israeli-made Spike anti-tank guided missile during trials in 2008. India’s interest in the Javelin increased since the missile was demonstrated in a live-fire exercise during the Indo-U.S. Yudh Abhyas exercise in October 2009, held in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state. Indian troops were able to master the missile within 30 min. during the exercise.
According to Raytheon, the 22.5-kg (50-lb.) Javelin can be readied within 30 sec., reloaded within 20 sec., and target low-flying helicopters, vehicles, bunkers and buildings with precision. The missiles have a shelf life of 10 years.