Acquiring of Javelin missiles from US hits a roadblock

Last Updated: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 10:29

New Delhi: A proposal to acquire Javelin anti-tank guided missiles from the US has hit a roadblock over transfer of critical technology and reluctance of the American government to participate in the field trials.

India is looking to acquire the third-generation anti-tank guided missiles for modernising its more than 350 Infantry units and provide them the capability to destroy enemy armoured regiments.

The US is not agreeing to provide critical technologies of the missile demanded by India and has also shown reluctance to make available the missiles for being evaluated by Indian experts in the field trials, sources told a news agency here.

Till the time these issues are sorted out, it would be difficult for the Indian side to proceed further on the deal, they said.

In response, US missile manufacturer Raytheon said, "The Javelin JV stands ready to respond to all requests of the Indian government relating to the evaluation and procurement of the combat-proven missile while ensuring it adheres to a US and Indian governments` agreement."

The Javelin missile is manufactured by a JV of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin but sold to global customers through the US government under the Foreign Military Sales route.

The company said the missile was a superior solution on offer to the Indian Army and was "worth the wait as the two governments continue discussions."

Javelin along with the Israeli Spike missile was planned to be evaluated by India for the requirements of its infantry units.

The deal has been stuck for more than two years as Defence Minister AK Antony had said in August 2010 that a Letter of Request would be sent to the US for procuring these missiles along with Transfer of Technology requirements.

The Javelin missiles have only been demonstrated to the Indian Army in military exercises involving the forces of the two countries.

The development has taken place at a time when the US has been assuring India about supplying critical technologies for its various programmes.

During his recent visit to India, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta had also assured Antony that the US would initiate measures to provide access to technology.

The denial of dual-use items by the US to various laboratories under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was a key issue for discussion between the two sides.

DRDO chief V K Saraswat had recently said US President Barack Obama`s assurance on removal of DRDO from the entities list and easing exports of dual use items had only remained on paper.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 10:11

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