India is arming its fleet of Russian-origin Mi-17V5 helicopters with Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles, Asia News International has reported.
A limited number of Rafael Spike NLOS (Non-Line-of-Sight) missiles have been ordered, while a larger quantity of the munition will be locally manufactured, the news outlet added, citing sources.
The deployment of tanks and infantry combat vehicles by the People’s Liberation Army along the mountainous Line of Actual Control during a faceoff with the Indian Army two years ago prompted the Indian Air Force to purchase the weapon.
The missile can target armored vehicles, mobile air defenses, and command and control posts.
According to the outlet, a Spike-equipped helicopter can take out a target from a standoff distance of 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) and be equipped with a range of warheads for different battlefield scenarios.
The missile’s electro-optical seeker comes with a dual sensor, enabling the weapon to engage the target throughout the day or in adverse weather conditions.
Moreover, the weapon’s seeker and wireless data link provide video imagery to the operator throughout its flight, allowing for a mid-course mission abort or alteration.
According to The Week, the capability allows the operator to choose the point of impact, which is helpful when targeting a moving vehicle.