India, today, approved a $2.5 billion Israeli missile deal in order to jointly develop medium range surface-to-air missiles for the Indian army. The deal to build the missiles with range of 50-70 kilometres. The missile system is to be developed jointly by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and Israel Aircraft Industries and will be manufactured in India.

The deal was approved during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, which was chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  

“The system will be based on the older Barak system of Israel, which is in use in India. It is being changed as per requirements,” as per Indian defence sources. Five regiments, which consists of 40 units and 200 missiles, are to be developed under the deal.

India and Israel have increased their defence relations since Narendra Modi came to power, who is likely to visit Israel in June. India now operates three Phalcon AWACS with Israeli radars mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft, under a $1-billion tripartite deal with Russia, signed in 2003.

Ahead of the likely visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in June, India has approved a deal to jointly develop a medium range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) system for the Army. This is the latest in a series of other variants of SAM systems for the Navy and the Air Force being jointly developed with Israeli help under deals estimated at billions of dollars.