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Israel wins $777m India contract for missile defence

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) hold a joint press conference following their meeting in Jerusalem on 5 July 2017 [Haim Zach/GPO / Handout /Anadolu Agency]
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) hold a joint press conference following their meeting in Jerusalem on 5 July 2017 [Haim Zach/GPO / Handout /Anadolu Agency]

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has won an additional $777 million contract to supply LRSAM air and missile defence systems to seven ships in the Indian navy, the company said today.

The contract is with India’s state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which is the main contractor in the project, IAI said.

The LRSAM, part of the Barak 8 family, is an air and missile defence system used by Israel’s navy as well as India’s navy, air and land forces.

With this deal, sales of the Barak 8 over the past few years total over $6 billion, IAI said.

“IAI’s partnership with India dates many years back and has culminated in joint system development and production,” IAI Chief Executive Officer Nimrod Sheffer said. “India is a major market for IAI and we plan to … reinforce our positioning in India, also in view of increasing competition.”

READ: India largest purchaser of Israel arms in 2017 

Israel’s and India’s leaders have pledged to deepen ties and the countries have been increasing cooperation in fields like agriculture and advanced technologies. Israel is also emerging as one of India’s biggest suppliers of weapons, alongside the United States and long-term partner Russia.

In April, India cancelled a ban on two Israeli arms companies, Aerospace Industries and the Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd, which it had previously blacklisted since 2006 due to allegations of bribery.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a lawsuit demanding the closure of the criminal investigation against the two companies, culminating in a $2 billion deal between India and Israel Aerospace Industries under which the company would supply India with Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles.

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