Sunday, October 26, 2014

India 'Spikes' U.S. Hopes, Rejects Javelin

To me the only story from among the bunch of programmes cleared by the Indian MoD yesterday was the government's decision to reject the U.S. Raytheon-Lockheed Martin JAVELIN anti-tank guided missile and choose Israel's Rafael ADS SPIKE. Decks stand cleared now for a $522 million deal for over 300 launchers and 8,000 missiles from Rafael. The decision brings to a close a particularly confounding procurement flightpath.

India's decision, only a few weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned from a high profile visit to the U.S., hits where it hurts. While Washington definitely can't complain about its slice of the Indian arms deal pie, the JAVELIN deal had seen a particularly strenuous political push, with the JAVELIN becoming pretty much the proposed manna to revive the Defence Trade & Technology Initiative (DTTI). U.S. Sec Def Hagel provided the biggest possible push when he was in Delhi in August. The deal got another push when the Prime Minister was in Washington just weeks ago. The U.S. offer was to sell India the JAVELIN, transfer technology to manufacture it in India, and then co-develop a new version for the armies of both countries. India didn't bite.

Questions over U.S. reliability and commitment to giving India what it wanted landed in 2012 with reports suggesting that the Pentagon had scaled down the number of JAVELIN systems that could be exported to India. It took then Sec Def Leon Panetta to calm things down, though there was definitely damage done. Over the following two years, the U.S. mounted the JAVELIN campaign aggressively, even as other deals worked out.

29 comments :

Anonymous said...

kindly stop sharing misinformation with people. Spike-SR has cleared by the MOD for SF. Javelin is still in the picture to arm the rest of the infantry battalion.

G said...

there should be a like button for excellent comments like above

Sourav Moitra said...

what about MRCA ?? no fighter jets ?

Dark Shadow said...

Javelin is better system than Spike.India will install that Spike variant on BMP-II vehicle.Yes USA has done much damage regarding commitment and ToT sharing.Even if it restart to sell Javelin it might take much time to close the deal with USA.Spike has sold many countries and not less weapon system than Javlin.

Anonymous said...

India is purchasing 8000+ missiles with 371 launchers as CKDs. The balance. out of a total req of 40K missiles and additional launchers will be locally manufactured under Tech Transfer. Don't believe Spike is for BMP-II alone; US should forget the Javelin deal and move on. Javelin may be better (debatable); however, like all US systems it is expensive and more importantly comes with strings attached (End User verification, CISMOA). All it would take to clog the component deliveries at critical times, is a lone crackpot, peacenik US senator angling for a Nobel Peace prize .

Kana said...

re: "Anonymous" hyperbolic critique:

Exactly where in the article are false claims being made re: SF/ general infantry? The article doesn't refer to SF/general infantry, so it is not making any "misinformation" false claims re: general infantry induction, it never makes a claim as to the branch of service inducting them or the scale of the purchase...

A coherent intellectual respones providing actual reasons why MoD would prefer to induct both Spike and Javelin would have been illuminating, but such a higher level of discourse is harder than pedantic "gotcha" games quibbling over (non-existing) phraseology. Perhaps we can leave out the hyperbolic "misinformation" attacks, and pursue a productive respective level of discourse? Or keep on with the crusade against imaginary crimes, Anonymous Troll.

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The broader issue here is that US pushed so hard to tie sales of expensive last-gen Javelin to cooperation in next-gen R&D... When there is absolutely zero "natural" tie between the two. The idea that US would withold cooperation on R&D/JV unless India pay out the ass for Javelin flies in the face of modern reality, where India has many choices of partners.

Logically, US should still be able to offer R&D/JV cooperation for next-gen missiles ON ITS OWN MERIT, and India can assess that, compared with alternatives, although the fact the US took this approach to begin with heralds what to expect from the US relationship: Whether it be insisting on "bundling" the purchase of expenisve last gen tech in this case, or insisting India adopt policies againt Indian interests (e.g. Iran pipeline block), the US seeks to tie everything "good" it offers with a "not so good" aspect.

Embarking on a JV/R&D venture which can be disrupted via sanctions if India "acts bad" (according to US policy) indeed has already hampered Indian R&D, notably the Tejas program whose core subsystems were hampered due to US sanctions over nuclear testing. Any missile R&D cooperation would clearly be subject to similar threat, so I don't see the attraction there even if offered "separately" from Javelin.

Anonymous said...

This is great news. Spike is much, much better than Javelin as per my research into the topic. Reasons are:

1. Spike has a standard range of 4 km (which can be extended upto 25 km) whereas Javelin has a maximum range of only 2.5 km. At the moment the range of Javelin cannot be extended. Javelin's range is too low to safely engage MBT (Tank) targets.

2. The seeker in Spike can select the target instantaneously. The Javenlin's seeker takes 30 seconds to acquire target because it needs cooling. In a desert environment where background temperatures are hotter, it takes even longer than 30 seconds for the Javelin's seeker to distinguish targets. In desert warfare such a long time to acquire targets is a pretty bad idea.

3. Javelin cannot hit a target behind a wall, hill or obstruction. It needs a clear line of sight. Also once fired, Javelin's target cannot be changed. The Spike has an option of a fiber optic cable with which an operator can change the targets mid flight. So if Spike is fired at an armored vehicle, but later during missile flight a juicier target like tank appears, the operator can target the tank instead by changing the flight path of the missile. This is not possible in Javelin as the missile travels along a pre-determined path. Also the Spike can hit targets behind a hill as the operator sees the target through the seeker on the nose of the missile. So after the missile clears the hill, the operator can see the target through the missile nose seeker, adjust the missile and hit it. On the other hand, since the Javelin can only hit targets in line-of-sight it cannot do this. The Javelin operator can only see the target through the command guidance seeker in the hands of the operator (and cannot see the target through the missile nose seeker which is a BIG disadvantage in terms of accuracy).

4. Most of the european militaries that did a comparison of the Spike vs Javelin chose Spike as it was much better. The few countries that chose Javelin did it due to interoperability reasons with NATO forces as the primary factor.

Overall a great decision by India - this will bring even closer ties with Israel. I'm also very happy about the close defence relationship that India is forming at the same time with the US in purchasing AH-64 Apache helicopters. They also will come with their awesome Hellfire missiles which are great tank busters. The Hellfire missiles are also carried on US Predator drones and are extremely capable. India will have the best of both worlds.

With 8,000 Spike missiles + Hellfire missiles available with the Army, Pussistans "Al-Khali" tanks will be toast even before they can cross the border.

Anonymous said...

Some more reasons why Spike is better:

1. Javelin is more expensive than Spike, without any significant advantage factor.

2. Spike has better optics in command and control module. Without the missle launcher, it can be independently used as an observation unit to monitor enemy activity.

3. Spike comes with a tripod, meaning that missile position can be tracked without any user movement over it's entire flight path of more than 40 seconds. The Javelin does not have a tripod and it is difficult for a person to maintain it in steady position for a very long time. This becomes tiresome when observing enemy movement.

Parthasarathi said...

@ Anonymous 6.51 : If your version is correct then Javelin is a better choice for SF. As Javelin can be used as bunker buster. And ordering a huge 350 + launchers and 8000 missiles just for SF. seems very unlikely.

Anonymous said...

NSR says ---

India urgently needs 40000 ATGMs...

Since Nag and Milan are 2nd generation ATGMs, India is still in the market for Javelin...

India should take USA offer and go ahead because it will have a 3rd and 4th generation ATGMs form the same contract...

Its good for both India and USA armies...and also it opens up future possibilities and technology transfers...

Other reports says Javelin is still in running...

Anonymous said...

The problem in Indo-US defense relations is they wont give us what we want and we dont need what they want to give us. US has to realize that if they want to counter the influence of an increasingly aggressive China then they must put their entire technological might behind India.

Anonymous said...

@Kana, I am sure I have used a very respectable language. If at all you feel that critiquing someone is trolling then good luck to you for believing in anything that is reported by the media.
The article nowhere mentions about Special Forces or infantry, and that is precisely my point. This information is missing in the article. Of course, IA can use both javelin and Spike-SR because both serve different purposes. Spike -SR being extremely light is useful for para-SF for use in mountains. Whereas javelin is better for plains. The MOD has never stated that javelin is out of the picture. It's the media that is speculating because they have no clue that Spike has different variants. For 356 infantry division and SF division, do you think one-size fits all would serve the purpose?
Does that quench your thirst for knowledge. I am not as articulate as your are, but I hope I have answered your query.

Anonymous said...

"Sources told NDTV that South Block decided against the US offer for three reasons: One, the extent of Technology Transfer to the Indian counterpart Bharat Dynamic wasn't clear; two, the cost of the Israeli missiles was cheaper than the US missile and finally canceling the Israeli deal at the last moment would have sent wrong signals to the international community."
Bottomline: India considers US an unreliable supplier and has been very cautious with its purchase of Offensive Weapons / Platforms, since these are critical in the conduct of war operations.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous @ 10:19 AM
Its a problem not restricted to Indo-US defence relationship, but with the entire Indo-US relationship. Period.

Anonymous said...

Re: @Anonymous
"The problem in Indo-US defense relations is they wont give us what we want and we dont need what they want to give us. US has to realize that if they want to counter the influence of an increasingly aggressive China then they must put their entire technological might behind India."

What would you call P8I with harpoon missiles? Isn't that an offensive platform?

Anonymous said...

Presence of Harpoon missiles does not make P-8I an offensive platform. Imagine sending a Boeing 737 to interdict a hostile flotilla! Continuing with P-8I as an example, it does not come equipped with OceanEye Aft Radar and Magnetic Anomaly Detector (for submarines); precisely because India is not a signatory to CISCMOA/BECA. Again, cutting edge technology not available! It would be interesting to observe the contract negotiations for Apache; wouldn't be surprised if it is cancelled.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone sure for which version of Spike this deal is for ? Only MR (replacement for Milan)? The MR and LR (to replace Milan and Konkurs)? MR and LR and ER (Replacement for Milan,Konkurs and Helina/Hellfire). In my opinion the second one is more probable since we need to replace both Milan and Konkurs.

I believe Javelin may only have been rejected on the basis of US blocking ToT whenever it thinks we went against their policies. From a technology perspective both the missiles are pretty comparable.

sandhya said...

Salute the Indian Army for their courage

Anonymous said...

Even US army uses spike.

Anonymous said...

so this kills NAG- shoulder version.. so much for Make In India?

Gilberto Rezende - Brazil said...

Shiv about MMRCA, is there any concern or thoughts about the fact that yesterday (one day after our presidential election) the Brazilian Air Force has signed the FX-2 deal with SAAB and at the similar condition India Air Force is still waiting to sign the MMRCA deal with Dassault considering India had selected Rafale in January of 2012 and Brazil had selected Gripen in December of 2013 ???
I think the military situation for India is far more serious than our in Brazil but I recognize, the change of political leadership in India instead of the continuation of political leadership in Brazil helped a lot the Brazilian Air Force in that process...

Anonymous said...

As an American, I am so severely butt hurt by you superior Indians buying Israeli arms. Waa. I'm going to go cry now! Waa. Enjoy buying every damn consumer product we make clowns.

SWANK said...

The first Anon is right. Spike is NOT replacing Javelin - Spike SR in smaller numbers are obtained for a different reason that is why the numbers are low compared to what is needed. Both Spike SR and Javelin will be procured.

Anonymous said...

@Crying American
What Consumer products? Have you ever visited a shopping Mall in India? Not a trace of products made in USA. Heck....even the Americans don't buy products made in USA!

Anonymous said...

Yeah like you retards don't purchase Apple products. I've been to India buttlick. Many times to many malls in Mumbai. I know what crap people buy. Give your hypocrisy a rest. Last I heard your Mars probe hasn't done jack shit either.

Anonymous said...

@Crying American

Apple is made in USA! Is that the extent of your knowledge? Jeez...no wonder you have to pepper your comments with profanity to mask your ignorance.

Ved said...

Javelin has not been spiked. Spike has been selected for SF. That is the reason only 8000+ spike missiles have been ordered. An advanced version of Javelin will be co produced and then acquired which will be mass inducted.

Anonymous said...

Please go with javeline because it is much advance and buy the Use in huge NO and launch there is much accuracy please go with Javelin Anti Tank missile Please Mr Narendra Modi ji

Anonymous said...

Usa is a conty that always have a double face.. one side showing he is with india by offring there toys and other hand give the money to pak for spread terro in india.. i want to ask u (Usa). R u really with india.. then prove it..