Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impending visit to Israel in July, India and the Jewish state have signed a USD 2 billion (around Rs 13,000 crore) mega defence deals.
As per the reports, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will supply advanced medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) systems to New Delhi, which are designed to destroy hostile aircraft, missiles and drones at a range of 70-km.
In a statement issued here, IAI said that it will also supply additional long-range air and missile defence systems (LRSAM) for the first locally produced Indian aircraft carrier. The contract is worth USD 1.6 billion for IAI, with the rest going to another state-owned defence company Rafael, that will be providing components for the systems.
"The current contracts represent an enormous expression of confidence by the government of India in IAIs capabilities and advanced technologies, which are being developed with our local partners as part of the Indian governments Make in India policy," IAI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph Weiss said in a statement.
President Reuven Rivlin, who is said to have discussed the deal with Indian leaders during his trip to India early this year, called to congratulate Weiss on this "historic" deal terming it truly "exceptional".
"Please pass on my congratulations to all who contributed to this important achievement. You have come such a long way to arrive at this point, it is truly exceptional," Rivlin told IAIs CEO.
"Israel’s willingness to share technology and form joint ventures with Indian companies to develop and manufacture military equipment supporting the Make in India initiative is said to have been well received in New Delhi,” Rivlin added.
In the case of MRSAM, an advanced air and missile defence system that provides protection against a variety of aerial threats, the technology is said to have been jointly developed by IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation in collaboration with Rafael and IAIs Elta division.
Indian companies such as Larsen & Toubro are said to have also participated in the project.
MRSAMs current version is operational with the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
The system includes an advanced phased-array radar, command and control, mobile launchers and missiles with advanced RF seekers.