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Thread: Why India decided to buy Javelin?

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  1. #1
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    Default Why India decided to buy Javelin?

    I'm reading here this news:

    The decision comes within a month of media reports that Pakistan had included the Javelin on its wish list of U.S. weapons it wants to purchase. Senior Indian Defence Ministry officials had favored buying Israeli-made Spike ATGMs until those reports.

    ... and after reading this comment:

    Reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates leaned on India and Pakistan during his trip to South Asia this week to set aside a simmering rivalry and confront militant extremists. At the same time, Gates and other U.S. officials pushed arms sales that could fuel the antagonism between the two countries.

    Gates' trip was framed by that apparent contradiction in U.S. policy. On his arrival in Pakistan, a television news interviewer put the question bluntly: "Why re-arm both countries?" The Pentagon chief sidestepped the question.

    But Gates and other officials explained afterward that Washington hopes the military cooperation will help the U.S. win the trust it needs to advance its goals in the region. And, besides, they said, the two countries could get weapons elsewhere, so why not from us?

    For me this smells like political decision. Internet comments that Spike failed desert test in India. This sounds especially wierd because where IDF intends to use this weapon? Arctics?

    I found also this kind of comments, that make me even more wonder.

    Norway was plagued by the politicalness of the Spike too. The trial teams all gave the thumbs up to the Spike being vastly superior to Javelin and sent their recommendations upwards. Next thing they know Raytheon is awarded the contract to supply Norway with the new ATGM. This was about the same time as the local tabloids kicked a shyt about Norway buying weapons off the "small Satan", and the socialist party goes anal. The rest is maths...

    Capabilities versus interoperability

    Some years ago I attended a conference in London sponsered by SMi, one of the regular armour/anti-armour conferences I attend each year.

    There was a highly detailed, official briefing from a senior representative of the Finnish military. The officer gave an extensive breakdown of the competing advantages of the Spike and Javelin systems. He was adamant that the Spike was the better weapon and was purchased by the Finnish government despite political unease within the Finnish government.

    The Spike and Javelin were found to have comparable warhead effectiveness and both could be fired with excellent results in "fire and forget" mode. The Javelin had a smaller firing signature. On the other hand, the Spike could be upgraded with a fibre-optic spool allowing much longer range and a man in the loop option. The man in the loop option allows a target to be switched prior to impact and the ability to engage a target out of sight behind terrain screening. The Spike was found to have better training and simulation equipment as part of the package offered. The Spike also came with a lightweight but sturdy tripod. This allowed an operator to continue to observe a moving target for an extended period of time before engaging. This is much more difficult to do with Javelin. In addition, the thermal sights and tripod from Spike could be used without a missile pod being attached, allowing a highly sensitive thermal imaging sight for observation purposes.

    What off the record conversations I have had with the British team involved with the selection of Javelin rather than Spike, indicate that the Israeli weapon was the choice of the trials team but this choice was over-ridden by political and strategic considerations. The British army in any future force projection, is almost certainly going to operate alongside US allies. Given that, it makes more sense to use the Javelin. Again what very limited contact I have had with the Irish military in recent years suggests that their choice of Javelin was because of the same inter-operability factors.

    The British MoD is now paying a fortune to try and equip Javelin with a tripod, improved training software and hardware and investigating the possibility of incorporating a fibre-optic spool for Javelin. In otherwords creating a copy of the Spike.

    Wilf, if you have any presentation that explains the technical-tactical superiority of Spike, I'd like to receive it Similar to Finnish officer's one.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaur View Post
    Wilf, if you have any presentation that explains the technical-tactical superiority of Spike, I'd like to receive it Similar to Finnish officer's one.
    If I can butt in...AFAIK the only real advantage Spike has over Javelin is it's Fibre optic guidance system; allows firing from covered and reverse slope positions and the guidance package on the Spike allows mid-course correction and the changing of the target being engaged. Javelin is direct line of sight (althought its tru that the missile arcs upward before engaging/top attack mode). Also once you fire off a Jav that's it, no possibility of redirecting the missile to a higher value target. As far as weight goes they are about matched IMO.
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 07-30-2010 at 12:52 PM.

  3. #3
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    Afaik Spike only uses the FO guidance for long ranges.

    EuroSpike has some detail improvements and an EuroSpike representative suggested to me that contrast is improved. There were some reports about Javelin being unable to lock on simple bunkers because the IR signature of the bunker was the same as that of the ground.

    A disadvantage of (Euro)Spike is that the launcher itself cannot as easily be employed as IR observation tool as Javelin's sensor unit. That's iirc a purely mechanical centre of gravity problem.

    It's difficult to compare both systems because the true and differences are hidden inside, not published and thus even unknown to those who know one of both systems well.

  4. #4
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    Spike or Javelin? India Still Undecided on a Billion Dollar Missile Buy..

    The Indian Army is planning to equip its ground forces with thousands of anti-tank missiles to be built in India. The Indian military considers two options, both of them exclusive – the FGM-148 Javelin, proposed under a Government-to-Government (G2G) program via U.S. Foreign Military Sale (FMS), and the Spike MR, proposed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, being the only bidder in an international tender, which specified characteristics and specifications only the Israeli company could meet.

    Click this bar to view the original image of 688x284px.(Mod's Note no bar and there are photos on linked article at end).


    The Indian Army plans to install the missiles on infantry combat vehicles currently carrying locally produced AT-5 or Milan missiles.

    The Indian Ministry of Defense plans to order 321 launchers, and 8,356 missiles, plus 15 training simulators in a multi-phase arms package worth over one billion US$. Two options are currently on the table – the U.S. Javelin and the Israeli Spike MR.

    The current decision by the Indian authorities clears the way for an official selection of Rafael as a preferred supplier of the missile but does not guarantee winning the order, since as a single supplier a company is most exposed to procedural and bureaucratic objections that are likely to delay the program, enabling competitors to gain pressure in hope for a wind change at the Indian MOD. Overall, a single supplier status is often approved for short term programs, justified by rapidly addressing urgent operational requirements. (An examplem is the recent French acquisition of Javelin missiles, to equip its units in Afghanistan.)

    Click this bar to view the original image of 688x393px.(Mod's Note no bar and there are photos on linked article at end).


    Recent news reports (Defense News 24 June, 2010 and 24 March, 2011) claimed both companies have won the program. Both are premature, and, technically, both can be correct, as the Indians have not made their selection yet. Both programs are proceeding in parallel channels; each has its own advantages and obstacles. Eventually, only one channel will be selected – either the open bid contract or the G2G path. The later means the work share Indian companies will get would be minimal (unless Lockheed Martin and Raytheon will be authorized by the U.S. government to outsource Javelin work to India, a procedure that hasn’t been approved yet). In addition to limited local production will not be possible, as the procurement would be made through the U.S. Army channels and, as such, is likely to be more expensive than the Israeli alternative. On the positive side, the G2G path is less susceptible to public scrutiny and bureaucratic obstacles, and therefore, could be available in short term.

    The open selection means the process will be longer, yet offer much more Indian industrial involvement, technology transfer, and local production, in addition to the benefit of offset, as mandated by the Indian government.

    Rafael being the only bidder in this tender, the Indian Army had to obtain a special permit to sign a deal on the basis of a tender with just one potential vendor. While technology transfer is a big issue in India, another reason for the absence of competitors was the Indian insistence on unique weapons performance – the Indians demanded that the missiles will enable “active-passive fire-and-forget guidance system”, which only Rafael can offer. Off the shelf third generation (3G) missiles are employing passive sensors to lock on the target before launch, and perform ‘fire and forget’ engagement. At present, only the Spike can offer ‘active passive 3G fire and forget’ – the ability for the user to correct the missile’s aiming in flight, as it closes in on the target, thus offering the ‘active’ element of the engagement.

    While the Indian Army is currently interested in the medium range version of Spike, other requirements also include will longer range guided weapons which could offer the Spike an advantage in establishing a common logistics, training and support.

    As industrial participation and technology transfer, if Rafael eventually wins the order, the Indians will get the first deliveries of missiles from Israel but Rafael is likely to shift production to India, as it successfully have done in other markets, some of the recent examples include Poland and Spain. In India, Rafael is likely to work with Bharat Dynamics Ltd., an Indian government-owned company specialized in missile development and production. In addition to missile assembly, India could produce most of the system, particularly if Rafael is successful in negotiating the joint venture it plans with Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), in establishing a private, India based company to produce missile seekers for air/air and surface/air missiles. This JV could also address the Spike’s EO seekers.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-28-2011 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Mods note re photos

  5. #5
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    Default Javelin Advantage

    From what I can read on the internet, Javelin has a 10lb weight advantage, when considering the CLU and 1 missile. Ask an infantryman, this is a significant advantage.

    Of course, maybe you don't have to carry and use the tripod on the Spike. But the guidance unit/launcher looks quite a bit bulkier than the Javelin CLU. US Infantry units used to use the CLU all the time as a thermal sight for OP work (until the plethora of newer, smaller thermal sights).

    Last edited by tankersteve; 06-08-2011 at 04:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    What is interesting is that the IA is buying all sorts of equipment for its Infantry without raising the strength of personnel to man them.

    In other words, it is just juggling the manpower to man these weapons and by doing so, it is depleting what is known as the 'bayonet strength' in the section (squad in US Army).

    The victory at the objective end is still based on the 'bayonet strength' fighting bunker to bunker.

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