Israel and India are close to a deal on developing a joint missile system, the Times of India reported Thursday.
Negotiators had “virtually sealed” the deal for medium-range surface-to-air missile system (MR-SAM) missiles which the Indian Army will purchase from Israeli developers, including Israel Aerospace Industries. The manufacturing will mostly take part in India.
Over the past 15 years, Israel has sold over $10 billion in defense systems and arms to India making Israel “among the top defense suppliers to India,” the Times of India said. Incidentally, India is the largest buyer of Israeli defense technology.
In October, India decided to buy anti-tank guided missiles from Israel, rejecting a rival US offer. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government bought 8,356 Spike missiles and 321 launchers from Israel in a deal worth 32 billion rupees ($525 million).
That deal came just one month after India agreed to buy 262 Israeli-made Barak 1 surface-to-air missiles for its navy, to the tune of $144 million.
On a visit to India in February, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that "the Indian government is a true friend of Israel and shared interests will benefit both countries."
"For instance, our and their defense establishments enjoy excellent relations. This visit is very significant because it is the first time a defense minister from Israel is traveling to India, and it has great importance for further strengthening relations with a rising power like India."