Indian Army to buy over 3,000 French Milan-2T antitank guided missiles

The Indian Army is planning to buy more than 3,000 Milan 2T anti-tank guided missiles from France. "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 told ANI.

Indian Army to buy over 3000 French Milan 2T antitank guided missiles
The French-made MBDA MILAN family remains a praised combat-proven ATGM (Picture source: MBDA)

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. Sources said 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.

The MILAN 2, which entered service with the French, German and British armies in 1984, utilizes an improved 115 mm HEAT warhead. The MILAN-2T variant is a single main shaped charge, with smaller shape charge warhead at end of standoff probe to defeat reactive armour. It entered service in 1993. This ATGM is produced in India by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). 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. India had last year scrapped a programme to buy the Spike ATGM from Israel in view of the indigenous developments in this direction.

In 2017, a Defence Acquisition Council meeting headed by the then 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.


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