Israel does its biggest-ever defence deal - with India

Missile shield contract worth almost $2 billion


Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a defence and aerospace technology manufacturer wholly owned by the Israeli government, announced on Thursday the country’s biggest security contract ever, worth almost $2 billion.

The IAI is to provide advanced medium-range surface-to-air missiles to the Indian army, worth $1.6 billion. The rest of the order, worth $400 million, will go to Rafael Advanced Defence Systems - another state-owned defence company. Rafael will provide components for the missile systems.

Other than the medium-range missiles, an additional part of the contract is for a naval defence system, including long-range surface-to-air missiles that would be deployed on India's first aircraft carrier.

Joseph Weiss, IAI president and CEO, said in a statement: “Over the past 25 years, IAI has worked with the Indian defence industries and armed forces in many areas as part of our strategic partnership.

“The current contracts represent an enormous expression of confidence by the government of India in IAI’s capabilities and advanced technologies.”

President Reuven Rivlin congratulated Mr Weiss on the deal. According to Mr Rivlin’s office, the two spoke about forging the deal during the president’s visit to India four months ago.

The deal comes three months before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to arrive in Israel for a historic state visit, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister. The visit will mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and India.

Israel has been supplying India with military systems for several years, and this major contract, along with Mr Modi’s upcoming visit, could be a sign of more upcoming arms deals.

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