Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the nation’s largest aerospace and defense company, said Sunday it has received an additional $630 million contract to supply long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) defense systems for four ships of the Indian navy.
The contract will be carried out for the first time with Indian government company Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), which serves as the main contractor in the project as part of India’s “Make in India” policy. The Make in India policy is an initiative launched in 2014 by the Indian government to encourage multinational and national companies to manufacture their products in Israel.
Before signing the contract, the LRSAM was successfully tested last week in India aboard an Indian navy ship to demonstrate the system’s operational capabilities with a genuine target, IAI said in a statement.
LRSAM is an advanced air and missile defense system, a joint development by IAI and India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), with the collaboration of IAI’s subsidiary ELTA, RAFAEL and various Indian companies including BEL.
The system comprises several elements, including advanced phased-array radars (MFSTAR), command and control systems, launchers, and missiles with advanced radio-frequency (RF) seekers.
The LRSAM system provides protection against a variety of aerial, naval and airborne threats and is operational in the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Israel Defense Forces, and in the near future in the Indian Army.
The trial scenario started with the launch and engagement of the target. The MFSTAR radar aboard the Indian naval ship identified the airborne threat and tracked it over its flying course. The data was sent to the command center of the weapon system which launched the intercepting missile into orbit. Having been successfully launched, the missile navigated itself to the target. During its flight, it engaged the target, aligned its course, hit it and destroyed it.
All components of the weapon system have successfully met the goals set for them, IAI said.
“The new contract adds to other deals signed in the last decade by IAI with India’s defense forces, reinforcing IAI’s global leadership position in air and missile defense systems,” Joseph Weiss, IAI president and CEO, said in the statement. “The inclusion of Indian governmental company BEL for the first time is a step up in our relationship with the Indian industry as part of the ‘Make in India’ policy. This unique project represents the close collaboration between India’s DRDO, IAI and the defense forces of both countries.”
In April, IAI said it had signed its largest-ever deal, to supply India with advanced air defense missile systems worth almost $2 billion.