April 22, 2021
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Hanging on shoulder
Indian Army to ink USD 230 million Konkurs missile deal

India is all set to clear the much awaited Konkurs missile deal after Indian Army projected that it urgently needs more than 15,000 such missiles for its operational and training needs to meet emerging battlefield challenges.

Both China and Pakistan have already operationalized modern anti tank and Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) missiles in their arsenals and China will equip two more new divisions of troops with advanced night fighting anti tank missiles.

India, which is unable to produce indigenously a credible anti tank missile and MANPADS, has been looking for buying such systems from other countries but due to technology restrictions and high prices it will now go for Russian made Konkurs.

Initially, India will go for only 10,000 pieces of Konkurs, which can be carried by armored, wheeled and tracked vehicles, whereas the actual need is more than 15,000 pieces.

The total cost of the Konkurs deal could be USD 230 million and the per piece cost may stand at between USD 23,000-USD25,000.

Now, the deal has moved to the most crucial stage after several rounds of evaluation and cost negotiations.

But while the Cabinet note has been ready it is up to the Finance Ministry to clear or ask for more details as government is quite cautious over any defence deal crossing more than two hundred million dollar.    

If all goes well then the deal is expected to be cleared in a month or two. Konkurs can further enhance the tactical battlefield potentiality of the Indian Army.    

Konkurs missile which can penetrate steel armor up to 800 mm thick is also designated as 9M113 and NATO code name AT-5 Spandrel. This is a second generation, semiautomatic, antitank, tube launched, optically tracked, wire guided and aero-dynamically controlled missile.

It is designed to destroy moving and stationary armored targets with Explosives Reactive Armors at a range of 75 to 4000 meters.

It has great accuracy and the range can be further augmented depending upon the nature of target.

In the early 1990s, the improved 9M113M Konkurs-M missile was revealed. This is fitted with a tandem HEAT warhead with an extensible standoff probe to defeat Explosive Reactive Armor packages.

A thermal night system has now been developed for the infantry version of the Konkurs which weighs 13 kg and enables targets to be engaged at night or under poor weather conditions.

Manufactured by the Degtaryev Machinery Plant in Kovrov, the Schit Machinery Plant in Izhevsk and the Tulskiy Armaments Plant in Tula, the system is also locally manufactured by many countries in the world.