Israel Aerospace Wins $777M India Contract for Missile Defense

TEL AVIV (Reuters) -

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has won an additional, $777 million contract to supply LRSAM air- and missile-defense systems to seven ships in the Indian navy, the company said on Wednesday.

The contract is with India’s state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which is the main contractor in the project, IAI said.

The LRSAM, part of the Barak 8 family, is an air- and missile-defense system used by Israel’s navy as well as India’s navy, air and land forces.

With this deal, sales of the Barak 8 over the past few years total over $6 billion, IAI said.

“IAI’s partnership with India dates many years back and has culminated in joint system development and production,” IAI Chief Executive Officer Nimrod Sheffer said. “India is a major market for IAI and we plan to … reinforce our positioning in India, also in view of increasing competition.”

Israel’s and India’s leaders have pledged to deepen ties and the countries have been increasing cooperation in fields like agriculture and advanced technologies. Israel is also emerging as one of India’s biggest suppliers of weapons, alongside the United States and long-term partner Russia.

Last year, IAI struck a deal worth almost $2 billion to supply India’s army and navy with missile defense systems. This was followed by a $630 million contract with BEL to supply Barak 8 surface-to-air missile systems for four ships in the Indian navy.

The Barak 8 was developed by IAI in collaboration with Israel’s Defense Ministry, India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation, the navies of both countries, Israel’s Rafael and local industries in India and Israel.