In April this year, India had inked a nearly $2 billion missile defence contract with Israel for supplying advanced medium-range surface-to-air missile systems (MRSAM) to India. Israel Aerospace Industries, the company that would supply the missile defence systems to India, also said it would provide additional long-range air and missile defence systems (LRSAM) for the first locally produced Indian aircraft carrier. This missiles defence contract is approximately worth $1.6 billion for IAI, while the remaining amount will go to another state-owned defence company Rafael, that will be providing components for the systems.
The IAI said in a statement that this deal was the single largest contract in Israel’s defence industry’s history.
What is MRSAM?
It’s an advanced air and missile defence system that gives ultimate protection against a ‘plethora of aerial threats’. The technology is believed to have been jointly developed India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation in close collaboration with Rafael and IAI’s Elta division. Other Indian companies like Larsen & Toubro are also said to have participated in the project.
This missile system’s latest version is being operated by the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Israel Defence Forces (IDF). The MRSAM includes an advanced phased-array radar, command and control, mobile launchers and missiles with advanced RF seekers.
What is the range of MRSAM?
The MRSAM defence system will allow the armed forces to take down missiles, aircraft, and drones with ranges of up to 70 km.
What are the features of the deal?
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will also provide surface-to-air missiles to be incorporated on India’s indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. Through the new deals, Israel aims to strengthen its position in the Indian defence market. Currently, Israel is India’s fourth-largest arms supplier after the US, Russia and France, as per a report in Hindustan Times.