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.