The Indian Air Force (IAF) has strengthened its capabilities by purchasing Israeli Spike Non Line of Sight (NLOS) anti-tank guided missiles.
These missiles are designed to boost the IAF's ability to neutralise hostile targets hidden behind topographical impediments such as mountains. These freshly purchased missiles are anticipated to undergo trials shortly after delivery.
The Spike NLOS anti-tank missiles will supplement the capabilities of the IAF's Russian-made Mi-17V5 helicopters. These missiles have a large range and are quite effective against concealed targets.
Their effectiveness has been demonstrated in the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, where Ukrainian forces utilised equivalent anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles supplied by Western countries and the US.
Concerns about China's military development along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Eastern Ladakh region prompted the IAF to make this strategic acquisition roughly two years ago.
The increased deployment of tanks and infantry combat vehicles by China forced India's military services to review and strengthen their capabilities.
The Spike NLOS is a Rafael Advanced Defence Systems product that offers several critical qualities. It is an anti-tank missile with a maximum range of 30 kilometres that can be launched by soldiers, vehicles, or helicopters.
The Spike is a fire-and-forget missile with pre-launch lock-on capability and autonomous self-guidance. It has a "Fire, Observe, and Update" mode in its long-range models. It may deal significant damage to opponent tanks, effectively halting their progress.
While the Spike NLOS anti-tank guided missiles were first purchased in limited quantities, plans are in the works to raise this quantity. Larger acquisitions are expected to be facilitated by the "Make-in-India" strategy.
In reaction to China's aggression two years ago, the Indian Army and Air Force have increased their arsenals with indigenous and international weapons.
The Indian Air Force's leadership has been a fervent proponent of indigenisation, sponsoring a variety of schemes aimed at manufacturing high-tech equipment and armaments in India.