Israel Sells Air-defense System to India in Second Major Arms Deal

Israel and India enjoy extensive security relations: Last month the two signed contracts worth nearly 2 billion dollars

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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The 'Barak 8' missile defense system undergoes testing in 2015.
The 'Barak 8' missile defense system undergoes testing in 2015.Credit: IDF Spokespersons Unit
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

The Israel Aerospace Industries signed an arms deal with India for the installation of the "Barak 8" air-defense systems aboard Indian Navy ships.

The IAI announced on Sunday that it signed a big arms deal, worth some $630 million, with BEL, an Indian state company. The deal includes the installation of the "Barak 8" air-defense systems, which were developed with Indian-Israeli cooperation, aboard four Indian Navy ships. The deal also includes the procurement of radar, missiles, and a command and control board for the system.

This is another deal for the IAI and Indian authorities, following one last month in which the parties announced that they had signed contracts worth nearly $2 billion for the supply of the system. One was for a deal for the ground version of the "Barak 8" air-defense systems, worth some $1.6 billion. Another deal was for the installation of the marine version of the system aboard the Indian Navy's aircraft carrier.

India is one of the prominent countries to acquire weapons from Israel. It has purchased hundreds of "Barak" missiles, the previous model of the air-defense systems. These were installed aboard Indian Navy ships in recent years. India has also purchased advanced air-to-surface missiles made by Rafael that enable "stand-off" attacks and the launching of bombs far from the target.

The Israeli military industry's IWI firearms manufacturer also took part in the establishment of a small-arms production plant in India, which is meant to produce Israeli weapons such as the Tavor, Galil and Negev weapons. The founding of factories, as well as the cooperation with the Indian state company, shows that India seeks to ensure that a significant part of the security contracts signed will guarantee cooperation with the local Indian military industry and the establishment of industrial plants across the country.

The two countries enjoy extensive security relations, which include the exchange of delegations between Indian and Israeli air crews and the "Blue Flag" aviation exercise that will take place in November in Israel, where the Indian air force will also participate in joint maneuvers with Israel.

According to Indian reports, additional arms deals with the Israeli military industry will be announced when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Israel in July. There is another massive deal on the cards for Israel and India, for the purchase of some 8,000 "Spike" anti-tank missiles for half a billion dollars. The deal was delayed for two years, but in recent days was again brought for the approval of the Indian cabinet.

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