After initial balk, India reconsidering buying Iron Dome

Indian Army official says Israeli system could provide protection against Pakistan’s short-range tactical nuclear missiles

Haviv Rettig Gur is The Times of Israel's senior analyst.

The Iron Dome missile defense system in action, November 15, 2012 (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)
The Iron Dome missile defense system in action, November 15, 2012 (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

India is reportedly reconsidering its decision earlier this year not to purchase Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

The all-weather Israeli system, which has proven effective in intercepting rocket fire from Gaza, was first deployed in 2011. India has expressed interest in the system over the past two years because its advanced capabilities would enable it to detect and intercept the “Nasr,” a Pakistani tactical nuclear missile deployed along the Indian-Pakistani border, an Indian Army official told Defense News.

Earlier this year, India decided against purchasing the system. Air Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, commander of India’s Air Force, said at the Aero India air show in Bangalore in February that the Iron Dome was not suitable for India’s air force.

But a military source told Defense News that India was reconsidering that earlier assessment because Israel was willing to share the technology behind the advanced rocket system.

Iron Dome, whose development by Haifa-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems was partly funded by the US, is considered among the most advanced missile defense systems in the world.

India is reportedly also interested in purchasing the longer-range David’s Sling system, which is manufactured jointly by Rafael and the Massachusetts-based defense contractor Raytheon.

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