Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), India's leading defence PSU, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) signed $777M contract for Barak 8 LRSAM Systems.
BEL serves as the main contractor in the project and the systems will be manufactured at its units.
The long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) systems are an operational Air and Missile Defence system used by the Israeli Navy as well as by India's naval, air and ground forces.
BEL authorities are yet to respond to a query from DH on the development. BEL had teamed up with IAI for the missile project and signed a MoU in December 2012 for ship-defence systems.
The BEL-IAI cooperation deal envisages BEL functioning as the lead integrator and producer of major sub-systems. The marine version of the Barak 8 air and missile defense system will be fitted on seven ships of the Indian navy.
It provides broad aerial and point-defense against a wide range of threats to the marine arena from the air, sea or land. The system integrates several advanced systems as digital radar, command and control, launchers, interceptors with modern RF seekers, data link and system-wide connectivity.
IAI CEO & President Nimrod Sheffer said the deal reflects the direction in which IAI is heading, that is business focus, profitability and growth.
“IAI’s partnership with India dates many years back and has culminated in joint system development and production. India is a major market for IAI and we plan to protest and reinforce our positioning in India, also in view of increasing competition. For its part, IAI management continually refreshes its business strategy while preserving the core capability and growth engines, of which the Barak 8 is an example," he said.
Barak-8 AMD system was developed by IAI in collaboration with Israel's MOD, India’s DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organisation) and the navies of both countries.
David Keynan, Vice Chairman of the Federation of Indo-Israeli Chambers of Commerce said the deal was anticipaed for some time and will significatly increase the offset obligations of IAI in India.
"IT will futher boost the local defense indusry by bringing more advanced technologies to be manufactured in India," he said.
Recently, IAI sealed a $630-million deal to supply advanced LRSAM systems for four ships of the Indian Navy. Each system comprises at least one launcher, carrying eight missiles, among others.
The LRSAM system offers protection against a wide range of aerial and naval threats.