Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has been awarded an additional $777 million contract to supply LRSAM air and missile defense systems to seven ships in the Indian navy. According to reports, the contract has been signed with India’s state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited.
In 2016, India became the first country in the world to incorporate the Israeli-made Barak 8 surface-to-air missile into its arsenal, which was then scheduled to launch in Germany as well.
Also known as Barak-8, Indian-Israeli surface-to-air missile (SAM) has been designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and various other combat jets. It has been in constant use by Israel as well as the Indian Navy now, in the air and missile defense system.
On signing this latest deal, the sales of the Barak 8 over the past few years itself have crossed over $6 billion, according to IAI, whose partnership with India dates back to many years.
IAI Chief Executive Officer Nimrod Sheffer said, “India is a major market for IAI and we plan to culminate in a joint system of development and production while also reinforcing our positioning in India, keeping in mind the increasing competition.”
The LRSAM missile had been tested on Sa’ar 5 class missile ships about two years ago and proved to have the potential to intercept aerial threats at a range of hundreds of kilometers, such as missiles carrying heavy explosive warheads, precision missiles, and planes.
As per reports, leaders of Israel and India have pledged to deepen their ties, with increased participation of both countries in cooperative projects in the field of agriculture and advanced technologies. Along with the United States of America and long-term partner Russia, Israel is now emerging as one of India’s biggest suppliers of weapons.
In 2017, IAI struck a $2 billion deal to supply missile defense systems to the Indian army and navy, subsequently followed by another contract of $630 with BEL in order to provide Barak 8 surface-to-air missile systems for four ships in the Indian navy. The Barak 8 was developed by IAI in collaboration with Israel’s defense ministry, India’s DRDO and the navies of both the countries.
India has proved to be a major market for Israel and the IAI further plan to reinforce their position in India with the provision of more warfare supplies.