Israel will supply advanced long-range air and missile defence systems to four Indian Navy ships under a USD 630 million deal to be jointly executed with Bharat Electronics Limited, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries said. The announcement of the deal came ahead of a possible visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July. Israel last month bagged a USD 2 billion deal – its largest ever – to supply the Indian Army and Navy with missile defence systems, with the IAI taking the lion’s share of it worth USD 1.6 billion.
The IAI yesterday said the latest contract was for supplying Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) systems. The LRSAM is a joint development by the IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It comprises several state-of-the-art elements, advanced phased- array radar, command-and-control system, launchers and missiles with advanced radio-frequency (RF) seekers.
The system provides the ultimate protection against a variety of aerial, naval and air borne threats. It is currently operational with the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy and the Israel Defence Forces. The Indian Army is also likely to deploy it soon.The LRSAM was last week successfully tested in India as part of an operational interception trial aboard an Indian Navy ship “demonstrating again the system’s operational capabilities in a representative scenario with genuine target”, a statement from IAI said. “All components of the weapon system have successfully met the goals set to them”, the company said.
The contract will be carried out, for the first time, with Indian government-owned BEL which will serve as the main contractor in the project as part of the Make in India policy. “The new contract adds to other deals signed in the last decade by IAI with India’s defence forces, reinforcing IAI’s global leadership position in air and missile defence systems. The inclusion of Indian governmental company BEL for the first time, is a step up in our relationship with the Indian industry as part of the ‘Make in India’ policy,” IAI’s president and CEO, Joseph Weiss, said. “This unique project represents the close collaboration between India’s DRDO, IAI and the defence forces of both countries. We will proceed to implementing it with joint efforts,” Weiss added. “We take pride, along with our partners in India, in the great results of the trial conducted last week, which reestablishes the System’s reliability and quality as well as its advanced technological capabilities,” Boaz Levi, IAI’s executive vice president and general manager of systems, Missiles and Space Group, said.