India, Israel seal $2 billion missile deals: What it means for New Delhi?
The Indian military’s capability to take down hostile aircraft and missiles has received a significant boost, with India and Israel signing deals worth $2 billion for advanced surface-to-air missile systems.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will provide the Indian Army with advanced medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) systems as part of the deal, announced by the Israeli firm on Thursday. The Prime Minister-headed Cabinet Committee on Security had cleared the deal in February. IAI said it was the single largest contract in Israel’s defence industry history.
Hindustan Times gives you a lowdown on the missile systems:
What is the MRSAM?
The IAI describes the MRSAM as an advanced ground breaking air and missile defence system that provides the “ultimate protection against a variety of aerial threats”.
The MRSAM is operational with the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Israel Defense Forces. The system includes advanced phased-array radar, command and control systems, mobile launchers and missiles with advanced RF seekers.
What is its range?
The MRSAM will allow the army to shoot down aircraft, missiles and drones at ranges of up to 70 km. The MRSAM is the army version of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) deployed on Indian warships. LRSAM has been co-developed by India and Israel under a Rs 2,606-crore programme.
Who has developed it?
MRSAM has been developed jointly by the IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Other firms involved in the project include Rafael, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited and L&T.
What are the components of the deal?
IAI will also supply surface-to-air missiles to be fitted on indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant being built in Kochi. The new deals will strengthen the position of Israel in the Indian defence market.
Israel currently is the fourth-largest arms supplier to India after the US, Russia and France. India is also in the final stages of inking a Rs 3,200-crore deal with Israel for Spike anti-tank guided missiles, manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd.