By Ajit K Dubey
NEW DELHI: In what could be a lesson learnt from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war where anti-tank missiles have played a big role, the Indian Air Force is arming its Russian-origin helicopters with the Israeli ‘Non-Line of Sight (NLOS) ATGMs’ which can hit ground targets from distances up to 30 km. The Israeli Spike NLOS anti-tank guided missile is being integrated into the Russian-origin fleet of Mi-17V5 helicopters which can take out targets from long ranges and can prove to be very effective against enemy armoured columns in times of conflict, government sources told ANI.
During the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the reports suggest that the Ukrainian forces have used the anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles supplied by the Western European nations and America effectively against the Russian armoured columns.
The Indian Air Force had started showing interest in these missiles almost two years ago when the Chinese Army deployed a large number of tanks and infantry combat vehicles close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) opposite the Eastern Ladakh sector.
Earlier, only the western theatre was considered to be conducive for tank warfare but now the tanks would come to play in a big way on both the western and northern borders.
Sources said the Spike NLOS ATGMs have been ordered in limited numbers at the moment and the force would look for getting the missiles in larger numbers through “Make in India” solutions.
The air-launched NLOS ATGMs can carry out strikes at its ground targets from standoff distances and can cause considerable damage to the enemy tank regiments and prevent their advances, the sources said.
Both the Indian Army and the Air Force have strengthened their arsenal significantly through both Indian and foreign weapons in view of the threat faced by the country due to aggression shown by the Chinese two years ago.
The Army and the IAF have been mainly involved directly in the ongoing military standoff with the Chinese while the Navy has been keeping a watch on the high seas against any possible misadventure in the seas. (ANI)