ISLAMABAD; Oct 24, 2018: Israel’s prime aerospace and aviation manufacturer, the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), announced Wednesday it has received a $777 million contract from India to supply long range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) defense systems for seven of its naval ships.
Indian state-owned company Bharat Electronics Limited inked the deal with IAI, according to UPI.
This latest deal comes a year after IAI signed a $2 billion to supply India’s army and navy with missile defense systems, followed by a $630 million contract to provide Barak-8 surface-to-air missile systems to four Indian navy ships.
“India is a major market for IAI and we plan to protect and reinforce our positioning in India, also in view of increasing competition,” Nimrod Sheffer, CEO and president at IAI, said in a press release. Israel is one of the top three arms suppliers to India –Russia and USA are other two top suppliers.
The LRSAM system belongs to the Barak-8 family of air missile defense systems, which the Israeli navy uses on its vessels. It delivers broad aerial and point defense against threats from the air, sea or land.
India’s DRDO Defense Research and Development Organization developed the Barak-8 AMD system in collaboration with IAI, Israel’s ministry of defense, each country’s naval forces and local companies in India.
Earlier this month, India quietly signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy S-400 surface to air missile systems, as New Delhi disregarded US warnings that such a purchase could trigger sanctions under US law.
The deal was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two-day visit to India.
Pakistan raised concern that the purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile systems by India threatened to further destabilize the strategic stability in the South Asian region and to lead to the resumption of an arms race.
“The Indian purchase of S-400 missile system is a part of their efforts to acquire a Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System through multiple sources. This will further destabilize strategic stability in South Asia, besides leading to a renewed arms race,” the foreign ministry’s statement said.
While Barak Missiles are intended to replace the aging missile defense systems fitted on Indian naval vessels, India also seeks to enhance its capability and capacity for stronger presence in the Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean as Pakistan and China build a massive trade and energy corridor “CPEC” with Gwadar port on Balochistan’s coastline as its gateway.
India– Pakistan’s arch rival, opposes the corridor saying its northern end passes through areas it claims are part of a long-standing dispute between the two neighbors. India also seeks to counter China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), a concern it shares with the US, Japan and Australia. The three countries along with the US –called the ‘Quad’ are coming together to be part of Indo-Pacific Strategy.