A leading Israeli defense company, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has won a $777 million contract with India for the supply of Barak-8 long-range surface-to-air defense missiles and missile defense systems for the Indian Navy, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.
The contract is with India’s state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which is the main contractor in the project. According to IAI, the company will supply Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM) Air and Missile Defense (AMD) systems, the marine version of the AMD system Barak-8, for seven ships of the Indian Navy.
The Barak-8 system is designed to defend against a variety of short-to-long-range airborne threats – including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones and projectiles. The advanced defense system incorporates a state-of-the-art phased array multi-mission radar, two-way data link, and a flexible command and control system, enabling users to simultaneously engage multiple targets day and night and in all weather conditions. The system was jointly developed by Israel and India.
Israeli and Indian officials have pledged to deepen ties between the two countries and strengthen cooperation in the fields of technology and agriculture. India also maintains close relations with Israel’s defense establishment, and the Jewish State is a major defense supplier to India, selling an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year.
With the new contract, 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 Shefer told Reuters. “India is a major market for IAI and we plan to… reinforce our positioning in India, also in view of increasing competition.”
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman hailed the announcement. The deal is “proof that security is investment, and not expenditure,” he noted. “The IAI is a national asset, which must be maintained and strengthened.”
Last year, IAI struck a deal worth nearly $2 billion to supply India’s army with medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel in 1992, bilateral trade and economic relations have progressed rapidly – climbing 2,000% since the countries formalized relations 26 years ago.
[Photo: Israel Aerospace Industries IAI / YouTube ]