24 April 2017
India will buy nearly $1.6 billion
worth of weapons technology from Israel in what's being described as
the "largest defence contract" ever signed by the military exporting
The deal will see state-owned Israel
Aerospace Industries provide India with an advanced defence system
of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and
communications technology, the company said in a statement Thursday.
The "mega" missile agreement is
"considered to be the largest defense contract in Israel's defense
industries' history", the company said.
The Israeli firm will also supply a
naval defence system including long-range surface-to-air missiles
for India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, which is still under
Israel Aerospace Industries said
some components will be assembled in India, in line with Prime
Minister's push to reduce reliance on costly imports.
The government has raised the
limit on foreign investment in the defence sector and encouraged
tie-ups between foreign and local companies under a 'Make in India'
India -- the world's largest
defence importer -- has been investing tens of billions in updating
its Soviet-era military hardware to counter long-standing tensions
with regional rivals China and Pakistan.
Israel is a top weapons exporter,
with sales last year surging to $6.5 billion.
India is a top market for its
arms, as New Delhi has turned increasingly away from traditional
ally Russia for its military hardware.
Last year India signed a contract
to buy 36 Rafale twin-engine fighter jets from France for 7.9
billion euros ($8.8 billion) after major delays and obstacles over
the cost and assembly of the planes in India.