Israel and India are moving closer with the sale of point defence missile system to New Delhi and Tel Aviv committing to purchase defence products from India.

The Indian navy will equip a number of its warships with the Israel Aircraft Industries/Rafael-developed Barak point defence missile. The $270 million contract was recently signed after long negotiations. The missile is operational with the navies of Israel, Chile and Singapore.

Deliveries of the Barak systems, including an Elta-developed radar, set for mid 2002.

As part of the improving relationship between the two countries, Israel will make a number of "goodwill" purchases of Indian military equipment, to broaden the basis of co-operation between the respective defence industries.

Israeli Ministry of Defence officials visited India earlier this month for discussions with Indian defence and aerospace industries and senior military commanders. After the visit, Israel announced that it is to evaluate the purchase of an Indian-made target unmanned air vehicle (UAV), even though the Middle Eastern nation is itself a leading manufacturer of UAVs.

Israel believes that India is a huge potential market for defence systems. Aside from the Barak deal, it has concluded several contracts, including sales of the Israeli-made Searcher and Heron UAVs and the Harpy attack vehicle.

Source: Flight International