In a bid to provide more firepower to its infantry units against enemy tank regiments, the Indian Army is planning to buy more than 3,000 Milan 2T anti-tank guided missiles from France in a deal likely to be worth over Rs 1,000 crore. An Army proposal in this regard would come up for discussion at a high-level meeting of the Defence Ministry for buying more than 3,000 of the second-generation Milan 2T ATGMs which are license-produced by the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in partnership with a French firm, sources in the Defence Ministry said.
Sources also said that the procurement of Milan 2T ATGMs is likely to be the stopgap arrangement before the Army gets its homegrown third-generation ATGM which is undergoing trials. Milan-2 is a French second-generation (ATGM which is produced in India by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) with a range of over 2 kilometres.
India had last year scrapped a programme to buy the Spike ATGM from Israel in view of the indigenous developments in this direction. The DRDO has, so far, conducted two successful trials of the man-portable ATGMs. During the NDA government tenure, several programmes for acquiring weapon systems from foreign vendors have been scrapped in favour of indigenous programmes.
In 2017, a Defence Acquisition Council meeting headed by the then the Defence minister Arun Jaitley had favoured Akash surface to air missile over vendors from Israel and Sweden for supplying Short-Range Surface to Air Missile (SR-SAM) programme worth over Rs 18,000 crore.
Indian Army has a requirement of around 70,000 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) of various types and around 850 launchers of different types even as it is looking for third-generation ATGMs with a longer range than that of its existing Milan-2T and Konkurs ATGMs.