The Defence Ministry on Friday sealed a deal with state-run Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) to acquire 4,960 anti-tank guided missiles at a cost of Rs 1,188 crore for the Indian Army.
The missiles, having a range of 1,850 metres, can be fired from ground as well as vehicle-based launchers and their induction is planned to be completed in three years, the ministry said.
In the last few months, the ministry finalised a range of procurement projects for the three forces to enhance their overall combat capabilities.
“The acquisition wing of the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with defence public sector undertaking Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for supply of 4,960 MILAN-2T anti-tank guided missiles to Indian Army at a cost of Rs 1,188 crore,” the ministry said in a statement.
The missiles are being produced by BDL under license from French defence major MBDA Missile Systems.
“These missiles can be fired from ground as well as vehicle-based launchers and can be deployed in anti-tank role for both offensive and defensive tasks,” the ministry said.
“Induction of these missiles will further enhance the operational preparedness of the armed forces. Induction is planned to be completed in three years,” it added.
The man-portable MILAN 2T is capable of firing a 115mm tandem high-explosive anti-tank warhead at armoured targets at a distance of up to 2,000 metres. The 2T version, first introduced into service in the early Nineties, is reportedly able to penetrate reactive armour. While the Milan-2Ts are 2nd-generation ATGMs, they still have a projected life expectancy of another decade.
According to Maj. Gen. S. Singh (retd.), the upgraded Milan-2T with a tandem warhead is still a viable choice to meet urgent requirements, even for asymmetric situations. In fact, during the Kargil conflict, the Indian Army used Milans as an extremely effective bunker-buster for heavily fortified ‘sangars’ (bunkers) in the mountains.