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Israeli, Indian Defense Companies Announce $10 Billion Joint Venture

Israeli defense firm Rafael Advanced Defense Systems reached a cooperation agreement worth $10 billion with the Indian giant Reliance Defense, Globes reported [1] on Tuesday.

The companies will produce air-to-air missiles, air defense systems, and surveillance balloons or aerostats for the Indian military over the next ten years. The venture is projected to employ some 3,000 people at a campus in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Government-owned Rafael is slated to hold 49% of the joint venture, with Reliance holding the remaining 51%.

The deal was signed at the Defexpo India 2016 exhibition in Goa, which is taking place this week. Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon and Rafael CEO Yoav Har-Even were both in attendance.

Ties between Israel and India have been improving in recent years, particularly following the election [2] of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi two years ago.

India chose to purchase [3] the Israeli Spike anti-tank missile system in October 2014, picking it over the competing American Javelin system. India and Israel conducted a successful joint test [4] of a Barak-8 surface to air missile a month later. India announced in December that it was reconsidering [5] its automatic support of the Palestinians at the United Nations.

Israel’s Ministry of Defense produced a video, embedded below, highlighting some of the technologies that would be presented in the Defexpo exhibition.

[Photo: Edi Israel / Flash90 [6] ]