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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Photo: Reuters
RAFAEL, Armament Development Authority
Israel arms sales to India top USD 900 million a year
Israel is India's second largest arms supplier after Russia, Indian Defense Magazine reports

India purchases USD 900 million in arms from Israel every year, Indian defense magazine, India Defense reported on its Web site.

 

The site reported that Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi and Navy vice-chief Vice-Admiral Venkat Bharathan lately paid secret visits to Israel to get updates on defense systems being developed in the Jewish State for the Indian Army.

 

The Indian Air Force chief reviewed the progress of the Phalcon early warning system project, which Israel is building for India at the cost of USD 1.1 billion.

 

The first of the three AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) are scheduled for delivery in November 2007, the site said.

 

Israel is India's second largest supplier of arms, only second to Russia which supplies USD 1.5 billion in arms to Delhi each year.

 

The site said India is relying on Israel for improved missiles and anti-missile defense systems.

 

"A wide array of missiles, ranging from Crystal Maze air-to-surface and Python air-to-air missiles to Popeye cruise missiles, have already been contracted or are being negotiated," sources told India Defense.

 

The Indian Navy is keen on replacing the Barak-I anti-missile system with new long-range surface-to-air-missile systems which are being developed in Israel.

 

India also plans to purchase more Aerostat radars to improve air defense capabilities.

 

"The final acceptance trials of the two Israeli Aerostat radars we got earlier are taking place in Gujarat and Punjab now. But, we need at least 10 more such radars. Though expensive, one Aerostat can substitute for 30-40 ground-based radars in providing three-dimensional low-altitude coverage," sources told India Defense.

 

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