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India Signs $500 million Deal with Israel; Defense Secretaries to Meet

Ahead of Israel’s Defense Minister, Major General (retd.) Udi Adam’s visit to New Delhi, India and Israel are rumored to have almost finalized a $500 million deal for a government-to-government purchase of 4,500 Spike
anti-tank guided missiles for the Indian Army.

The Spike missiles are said to have a range from 800m to 8km. The India Army’s efforts to purchase them have seen a lot of ups and downs.

Adam will be visiting New Delhi for the annual Joint Working Group discussion on bilateral defense cooperation.
He will be arriving on 2nd of July and leaving the next day. He will be meeting his counterpart Sanjay Mitra.
Adam is also expected to pay a visit to the Union Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Israeli diplomats have gone on record to confirm that both the countries were awaiting a final seal of approval from the Central Government under India PM Narendra Modi. The deal was initially conceptualized as a significant achievement under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. However, commercial considerations have now turned around the tide.

Initially, the Israeli defense contractor Rafael had won the contract to sell more than 8,000 Spike missiles to India in a deal that also included the manufacturing of 3,000 of these missile systems in India through the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
However, this contract was cancelled last November and caused much furor from the Israeli side. The procurement then went down the government-to-government exchange routine after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu visited India in January this year.

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The contract has now been revised to contain a purchase of 4,500 Spike missiles only, with a small quantity to be manufactured in Hyderabad.

While Udi Adama’s will be in India to discuss global defense and security, the Indian Government is also looking to discuss the possible purchase of two more PHALCON-AWACS for their Air Force. The other military hardware deal on the Indian Government’s agenda is the scope for manufacturing TAVOR-21 assault rifles for the Indian security forces, this time, definitely under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Adam and Mitra will also take time out to exchange views on the evolving situation in West Asia and Iran and the security environment in Asia and the Indo-Pacific.