The Indian defense ministry has announced plans to withdraw from a deal with Israeli army contractor Rafael, for the Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM).
The deal was originally agreed upon in 2014, but the Indian defense ministry scrapped the deal in January of this year, reportedly planning to develop missiles domestically instead, through the governmentâs Defense Research and Development Organization. However, when Netanyahu visited India later in January, on a trip to foster closer economic ties between the two nations, he declared that the deal was âback on the tableâ and that the outlook was âvery positiveâ.
The deal appears to have hit another stumbling block, however, as the Indian defense ministry expresses doubts about the performance of the missiles in hot, desert conditions, requesting that they undergo additional testing in the summer of 2019.
Israel and India trade some $5 billion annually, primarily in arms and diamonds. This deal was seen as something of a milestone for relations between the two countries, deepening diplomatic and military ties.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.