India scraps $500M Israeli missile deal: Newspaper

India's Defense Ministry has decided to cancel a $500 million deal to buy Israeli Spike Anti-Tank Missiles, Indian daily Express reported on Monday.

The decision to cancel the deal came from the idea that importing a foreign anti-tank guided missile could hurt India's own program for indigenous development by the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization, Express cited ministry sources as saying.

DRDO believes it could provide technology at par with Spike within three to four years without any need for technology transfers, the sources added.

Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense System said that it had not been officially informed of the cancellation, according to Rafael deputy spokesman Ishay David, speaking to Israeli daily Haaretz.

"Rafael already began the transfer of development and manufacturing knowledge as part of the Make-in-India program. This activity will continue as planned," he added.

In August, Rafael announced the inauguration of a missile manufacturing plant in India.

The plan was expected to start selling over 8,000 anti-tank missiles from the plant to India by 2018.

Source: Anadolu Agency