India to purchase 8000 missiles from Israel


New Delhi: Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in July to Israel, India is close to signing two defense deals with Israel as it seeks to deepen ties with the Middle Eastern nation, sources said.

The deals include anti-tank missiles and a naval air defense weapon system.

As per sources, the deals for Spike anti-tank missiles for India’s army and Barak-8 air defense missiles for its navy are expected to be finalized in the next two months. The pacts are worth $1.5 billion and will see the delivery of the 8,000 missiles two years after the contracts are signed.

The missile deals follow transactions finalized last week for India to obtain medium- and long-range surface-to-air missiles worth $2 billion.

The purchase of Spike missiles was approved by India’s Defence Acquisition Council in October 2014 and the Barak-8 purchase proposal was given the go-ahead in a meeting on April 3 this year, sources said.

Israel was the third-largest arms supplier to India in the three fiscal years ending March 2016, having bagged 10 deals worth a total of 76 billion rupees ($1 billion), as per sources.  Only the U.S. and Russia have made more defense deals with India during the period.

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