India is all set to lock the deal of $500 million with Israel for the government-to-government purchase of around 4,500 Spike anti-tank guided missiles. The deal is about to finalize ahead of Israel defence secretary Udi Adam’s visit to New Delhi. Israel’s defence secretary is visiting India to join the annual joint working group discussion on bilateral defence cooperation.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, South Block officials and Israeli diplomats said that both the countries were awaiting the final decision of approval of the Modi government for $500 million deal. Initially, the deal was conceptualized as one with a significant “Make in India” component. On the basis of commercial considerations, the component is now reduced.
The defence secretary of Israel, Major General (Retd) Udi Adams is visiting India on July 2 and leaves the country next day after holding meetings with his counterpart Sanjay Mitra. Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman is also expected to meet him.
The Spike missiles which the country is about to purchase have a range vary from 800 meters to eight km. The deal of selling 8000 Spike ATGMs was won by Israel’s defence contractor Rafael. The deal involves manufacturing of 3000 of the missile systems in India through the route ‘Make in India’.
In November, last year, the contract got canceled but now has been revised to purchase of 4500 weapon systems with a small quality that is manufactured in Hyderabad. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited India this January and after that, the procurement was changed to the government-to-government route.
India can also purchase two more PHALCON-AWACS for the air force from Israel and this will be discussed at this meeting. On the other hand, Israeli diplomats insist that Adam’s trip agenda is global defence and security-related issues.
India has three advance warning and early detection planes which with their deep penetration capability is fixed on the Russian IL-76 platform and is cost around $1 billion. These planes can look into the territory of the enemy. Manufacturing of TAVOR-21 assault rifles for the Indian security forces will also be discussed.
Defence secretary Adams and his counterpart Mitra are expected to speak on the evolving situation in West Asia and Iran and the security environment in Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. Also, they are expected to speak on reviewing the progress of ongoing bilateral defence deals.