India has used an emergency defense provision to purchase “Strum Ataka” anti-tank missiles from Russia for its fleet of Mi-35 attack choppers as New Delhi continues a weapons-buying spree aimed at deterring Pakistan.
“A deal was recently signed with Russia for the acquisition of Strumatka anti-tank missiles for the fleet of Mi-35/25 attack helicopters of the Air Force,” sources in the Air Force said.
The deal for the missiles is worth around Rs 200 crore and would give an added capability to the Mi-35 attack choppers to take out enemy tanks and other armoured elements.
The weapons deal marks the latest move by India to modernize its arsenal. The deal was signed with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the bombs are expected to be supplied in the next three months, the sources said.
“The deal for acquiring Strum Ataka anti-tank missiles was signed with Russia under the emergency clauses through which the missiles would be supplied within three months of contract signing,” government sources told news agency ANI.
New Delhi has previously announced at the start of June that it would purchase 100 smart bombs for an estimated $43.2 million from Israel. The same bombs were used in a strike against an alleged terrorist compound in Pakistan, which triggered February’s clash between the two border countries.
Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had given a presentation about the procurements made by the three services under the emergency provisions.
Emergency powers were given to the Indian forces within few weeks after the February 14 Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, and India started increasing vigil at the border with Pakistan.
Under the powers given to the three services, they can buy the equipment of their choice within three months at a cost of up to Rs 300 crore per case, government sources said.