Javelin Joint Venture team, a partnership between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin which lost out on a lucrative deal with the Indian Army, has joined hands with Tata Power Company to co-develop and produce the Javelin anti-armour missile system.
Javelin is a compact, lightweight missile designed for one-soldier operations in all environments. It is made by the Javelin joint venture, a partnership between Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin. Javelin has been adopted by international armed forces around the world. It is currently fielded with the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps, and has also been approved for 15 foreign military sales customers.
As part of the agreement, the Javelin Joint Venture (JJV) and Tata Power SED will create a strategy to co-develop and produce the Javelin missile system and integrate platform mounts to meet Indian requirements, which includes ground combat vehicle, dismounted infantry and rotorcraft applications.
India, in late 2014, had decided to buy 8,356 Spike anti-tank guided missile and 321 launchers from Israel for Rs 3,200 crore, rejecting the US offer of Javelin missiles that Washington was lobbying hard for.
This, according to sources, was to be followed by transfer of technology (ToT) to defence PSU Bharat Dynamics Limited for large-scale manufacture. Asked about the number of missiles the Indian army would need to fully equip its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised infantry units, they put the figure at about 40,000.
However, the deal for Spike had run into rough weather over cost escalation. The US had initially not agreed to provide critical technologies of the missile as demanded by India and had also shown reluctance to make available the weapon for being evaluated by Indian experts in the field trials. However, it had a change of heart but it was too late.
"This agreement brings together three world leaders in aerospace and defense technology to extend Javelin to new customers, new applications and new platforms," said John Halvey, Javelin Joint Venture president at Raytheon Missile Systems.
"With this deal, we are also reinforcing our continued support of the 'Make in India' initiative," he was quoted a saying in a statement by TATA. "The combat-proven Javelin continues to fulfil a critical precision-strike role with our domestic and international partners," said Rich Benton, Javelin Joint Venture vice president and Javelin program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
"We look forward to working with Tata Power SED to maximise the versatility and lethality of Javelin on these new platforms," he said.