The Indian Air Force has taken delivery of Israeli Spike Non Line of Sight (NLOS) anti-tank guided missiles, which can hit targets up to distances of 30 kilometers (19 miles).
The missiles are to be integrated into the Russian-origin fleet of Mi-17-V5 helicopters, and trials are to begin soon, Indian defense sources told ANI News.
The Indian Air Force began showing interest in these missiles almost two years ago when the Chinese Army deployed a large number of tanks and infantry combat vehicles close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) opposite the Eastern Ladakh sector.
The sources also said that at the moment, the Spike NLOS air-to-ground missiles (ATGMs) have been ordered in limited numbers and that the force would look for getting the missiles in larger numbers through “Make in India” initiatives.
The air-launched NLOS ATGMs can carry out strikes on ground targets from standoff distances and can cause considerable damage to the enemy tank regiments and prevent their advance, the sources said.
Both the Indian Army and air force have strengthened their arsenals significantly with both Indian- and foreign-made weaponry in view of the Chinese threat.
Indian Air Force commanders have been putting a lot of stress on indigenization and supporting multiple programs to produce advanced equipment and weaponry through Indian sources and industry.