by Arie Egozi

In addition to its Make in India policy, which conditions every weapon sale to India by another country to include the transfer of know-how and manufacturing to this state, India also keeps its purchasing sources varied. This situation overburdens states, which similarly to Israel, have seen in India an almost “captivated” market for certain weapon systems.

But in India, as in India, there is a different policy that sometimes takes the international weapon market by surprise.

The Indian Defense Ministry recently decided on the cancellation of the anti-tank missile purchase from the Israeli company Rafael, a half-a-billion-dollar deal, as reported by media in India. The signature of the deal last year was an additional proof to the defense rapprochement between India and Israel, with the visit of India’s Prime Minister in Israel last July as its climax.

According to a report by the Indian Express, the deal was canceled due to the Indian fear that the missile export from Israel might impair the indigenous development of a mobile anti-tank missile system by the DRDO, the Indian government agency responsible for weapon development. The journal also cited unspecified sources in the Indian Defense Ministry, saying the decision regarding the cancellation was taken after the DRDO managed to convince the Ministry that its anti-tank missiles under development would be operational within three to four years and will be able to compete with the Rafael Spike missiles. And now India is purchasing precision weapon systems from Russia. The Indian Defense Ministry has approved procurement of 240 Precision Guided Munitions at a cost of INR 1,254 crores (US$ 197 million) from Russian Rosonboron Exports. The KAB-1500 LG-F-E guided bomb with a laser gyro-stabilized seeker and an HE warhead refers to the precision-guided weapons and is designed to engage stationary ground and surface targets such as rail and highway bridges, military industrial facilities, ships and transport vessels, ammunition depots and railway junctions.

These bombs will be used by Indian Air Force (IAF), addressing the deficiency of Precision Guided Munitions in the IAF arsenal, besides enhancing the offensive capabilities of the IAF, the defense ministry said in a statement.

It is claimed to be the Russian equivalent to USA’s Paveway II/Paveway III. The munitions are manufactured by JSC Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) based out of Moscow. The bomb was also used for precision air strikes in Syria.