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February 23, 2017 5:13 pm

As Ties Flourish, Indian PM Modi Approves $2.5 Billion Deal to Acquire Israeli Aerial Defense System

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, in New York City in September 2014. Photo: Avi Ohayon / GPO via Flickr.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, in New York City in September 2014. Photo: Avi Ohayon / GPO via Flickr.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved on Thursday a $2.5 billion deal to acquire an Israeli aerial defense system for his country’s military, the Mail Today newspaper reported.

According to the report, India plans to use the medium-range surface-to-air missile system (MR-SAM) to defend its airspace from “enemy aircraft, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS planes.” The system — jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and India’s Defense Research and Development Organization — is a land-based version of the Barak 8.

The deal will see the Indian Army receive 40 units of the system, which will be ready for deployment by 2023.

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Israel and India are currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1992 establishment of full diplomatic ties between the two countries. They currently enjoy a burgeoning relationship, particularly in the defense field.

In November, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin traveled to India, just over a year after his Indian counterpart, President Pranab Mukherjee, visited Israel.

Earlier this month, it was reported that an Israeli-designed security system had been installed to protect the Indian port city of Mumbai.

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