Tel Aviv: Even as the chief of Indian Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, continues a four day visit to Israel comes unconfirmed news that both countries have formalised a $1.1 billion agreement under which Israel will supply an up-graded tactical air defence system to India, with delivery expected by 2017. The agreement was disclosed by Israeli officials.
The sale consolidates Israel's position as the leading arms supplier to India.
To be developed in conjunction with state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd and the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Barak 8 Air and Missile Defence (AMD) system is a derivative of an earlier naval design already in service with the Indian and Israeli navies.
|Barak-8 missile |
While the earlier version, dubbed the Barak NG, was a ship-borne version the new Barak 8 is primarily a land-based missile that can be deployed against incoming missiles, aircraft and drones.
The Barak 8 contract was initialled in April this year.
Delivery of the systems will take place "over the next six to eight years" and may be expected to deploy at the earliest in 2017.