World

Israel signs $2-billion missile deal with India

Press Trust of India Jerusalem | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 07, 2017

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To supply advanced missile defence systems

Israel has signed a nearly $2-billion deal with India to supply advanced missile defence systems, bolstering bilateral military ties, under a contract said to be the largest in Israel’s defence industries’ history.

In a mega-contract worth over $1.6 billion, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will provide advanced medium-range surface-to-air missile systems (MR-SAM) to the Indian Army.

IAI said it would also supply additional long-range air and missile defence systems (LRSAM) for the first locally produced Indian aircraft carrier, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The deal was approved by the Cabinet in February and comes ahead of a proposed visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July this year.

The MR-SAM, a land-based version of the LRSAM, will have a strike range of up to 70 km.

India is Israel’s largest buyer of military hardware and the latter has been supplying various weapons systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles over the last few years but the transactions have largely remained behind the curtains.

Apart from the IAI contract, another state-owned defence company, Rafael, will be providing components for the systems.

“The current contracts represent an enormous expression of confidence by the government of India in IAI’s capabilities and advanced technologies, which are being developed with our local partners as part of the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ policy’,” IAI CEO Joseph Weiss said in a statement.

Israel President Reuven Rivlin, who is reported to have discussed the deal with Indian leaders during his trip to India early this year, congratulated Weiss on the “historic” deal terming it truly “exceptional”.

Israel’s willingness to share technology and form joint ventures with Indian companies to develop and manufacture military equipment supporting the “Make in India” initiative has been well received in New Delhi.

In the case of MR-SAM, an advanced air and missile defence system that provides protection against a variety of aerial threats, the technology is said to have been jointly developed by IAI and DRDO in collaboration with Rafael and IAI’s Elta division.

Indian companies such as BEL and L&T are said to have also participated in the project.

MR-SAM’s current version is operational with the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

The system includes an advanced phased-array radar, command and control, mobile launchers and missiles with advanced RF seekers.

Published on April 07, 2017
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