Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced on Thursday that it had opened a missile manufacturing plant in India, together with its Indian partner, Kalyani Strategic Systems.
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Rafael said in a press release that the factory would manufacture its Spike missiles, an advanced anti-tank missile that India had chosen as part of a half-billion-dollar deal between the country and the manufacturer that has been delayed for two years. Currently, India is in the stages of approving the deal, according to which it will acquire 8,000 of the missiles from Rafael. The plant, according to Rafael's announcement, will be not be used only to produce weapons and technology for the Indian army, but also for other countries.
The establishment of the plant is the result of the Indian government's "Make in India" initiatives, one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's key programs is designed to turn India into a manufacturing powerhouse for global corporations.
The factory was inaugurated Thursday in the city of Hyderabad in a ceremony attended by Indian government ministers, Israel's ambassador to India, and the heads of Rafael and Kalyani. Yoav Har-Even, Rafael's CEO, said that opening the plant is another expression of the security cooperation between Israel and India and that his company "is committed to the Indian government's policy and local production, and opening the plant is proof of that."
At the beginning of April, Israel announced its largest-ever security deal, which involves selling India missile defense systems in the amount of $2 billion.