Israel signs $630 million missile deal with India
After signing a $2 billion deal last month, the Israel Aerospace Industries strikes another deal to supply the Indian army with the naval version of the aerial defense system Barak 8 for four Indian Navy ships, expanding on the defense cooperation between the two nations.
The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced Sunday it has signed a $630 million deal with the Indian state-owned aerospace and defense company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
As part of the deal, the IAI will provide BEL with the naval version of the aerial defense system Barak 8 for four Indian Navy ships.
The deal was part of the "Make in India" initiative by the Indian government to encourage national and multi-national companies to manufacture their products in India. BEL will be used as the main contractor for the project.
India successfully conducted a test of the missile system before the deal's signing. After the target was launched, the MF-STAR surveillance track and guidance radar installed on the Indian Navy ship the INS Kochi identified the threat and tracked it on its flight path. The data was then transferred to the weapon control center that launched the intercepting missile at the target.
According to the IAI, the missile was properly launched and steered itself towards the trajectory of its target. During its flight, the missile located its target using its homing system, adjusted its flight course accordingly, and successfully made contact and destroyed it.
"This deal joins a series of deals made between the IAI and Indian defense authorities over the past decade, and strengthens the company's status as a global leader in the field of aerial defense," said IAI President and CEO Joseph Weiss.
"The deal with Indian company BEL constitutes a step up in our relationship with the Indian industry as part of the Make in India policy. This unique project demonstrates the tight cooperation between the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the IAI, and the armies of both nations."
IAI General Manager and Executive VP Boaz Levy added that "The IAI is currently in the midst of an expedited process to provide the systems to India."
The LR-SAM system, otherwise known as the Barak 8 (Lightning in Hebrew) is an Indian-Israeli surface-to-air missile (SAM), designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, UAVs, cruise missiles and fighter jets. It was developed in a joint effort between the IAI and the DRDO.
The system's main features are its long range, a two way GPS data link, an active radar seeker missile, 360 degree coverage, vertical launch and multiple simultaneous engagements capabilities.
In April, the IAI announced that it has struck a deal worth almost $2 billion to supply India's army and navy with missile defense systems, describing it as Israel's largest ever defense deal.
IAI said that it would supply the Indian army with the Barak 8 aerial defense system, including medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications and control technology to the tune of $1.6 billion.