Israel Aerospace Industries inks $630 million contract with India
Amidst speculations on multi-billion dollar defence deals being finalized during PM Modi's upcoming visit to Israel, the Israel Aerospace Industries has secured a $ 630 million contract from the Indian Navy, for supply of advanced long range air and missile defence systems.
The systems are expected to boost defence production under 'Make in India' and bolster India's defence against aerial, naval and airborne threats.
India's strengthening defence partnership with Israel
India-Israel defence relations
India-Israel defence relationship has steadily improved over the past few years.
India is the largest buyer of Israel's defence supplies, while Israel is India's third largest defence supplier, behind Russia and US.
In the past 15 years, Israel has supplied equipment worth $10 million to India including drones and missiles.
The current deal happens in the context when both countries look towards strengthened engagement.
What is the contract about?
The current contract comes latest in the series of contracts inked between Israel Aerospace Industries and Indian armed forces.
The deal has been signed for supply of Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM) systems to be deployed in four of Indian Navy's ships.
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What are the key features of LR-SAM?
Each LR-SAM system consists of one launcher holding eight missiles with advanced radio-frequency seekers, along with a tracking radar and a command and control system. Once deployed it can improve India's defence against a variety of threats from land, air and sea.
What does India plan to do?
Although the details of ships haven't been made public, they are likely to be deployed in the four Vishakhapatnam-class missile destroyers, scheduled for commissioning between 2018-2024.
Already operational with the Indian Air Force and Navy, the IN additionally plans to acquire 12 LR-SAM systems worth $2 billion, with the IAF and the Army planning to acquire land-based variants of the same.
How does this benefit India?
The LR-SAM acquisition could boost India defence against a range of threats. LR-SAM along with drones and radars could add to India's defence and attack capabilities, enabling to prevail as a formidable international force.
The deal further indicates the evolution of Indo-Israeli defence relationship from a pure buyer-seller relationship to a focus on joint research and production, enabling India to benefit from technology transfer.
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