Israel, India to jointly develop missile system
Israel and India are concluding a multi-million-dollar deal for the joint development of a medium-range surface-to-air missile system.
Indian Defense Ministry sources, requesting not to be named, said on Wednesday that the country’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is partnering with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to develop the missile system for the Indian army, English-language newspaper The Times of India reported on Thursday.
The newspaper report added that Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), which is one of India’s manufacturers of munitions and missile systems, will take charge of the mass production of the systems.
The missile system is said to have a range of 50 kilometers (31 miles), and has multi-function surveillance and threat-tracking radar components as well as weapon control systems. It is an advanced version of the Israeli Barak missile system, and would reportedly cost 90 billion Indian rupees (over 157 million dollars).
“More orders might later follow since the [Indian] army’s air defense capabilities are relatively weak,” an unnamed Indian defense source said.
Israel is the third largest arms supplier to India after the United States and Russia. Tel Aviv and New Delhi have struck military deals and projects worth around 10 billion dollars over the last 15 years, which range from spy and combat drones to sophisticated missile and radar systems.
During his visit to India in February, Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon offered Iron Dome, which is a short-range missile system designed to intercept rockets and artillery shells fired from a range of four to 70 kilometers, to Indian authorities.