In a bid to provide more firepower to its infantry units against enemy tank regiments, the 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 Bharat Dynamics Limited in partnership with a French firm," a person with direct knowledge of the matter in the Defence Ministry told ANI.
The Army has a requirement of 70,000 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) of various types and 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 home-grown third-generation ATGM, which is undergoing trials.
Milan-2 is a French second-generation ATGM, which is produced in India by Bharat Dynamics Limited with a range of over 2 km.
India had last year scrapped a programme to buy the Spike ATGM from Israel. The DRDO has conducted two successful trials of the man-portable ATGMs.
In 2017, a Defence Acquisition Council meeting headed by then defence minister Arun Jaitley had favoured the Akash surface-to-air missile over vendors from Israel and Sweden for supplying short-range anti-aircraft missiles worth over Rs 18,000 crore.