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India reactivates $525 million missile deal with Israel ahead of Netanyahu’s visit

India will purchase Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel after initially canceling a $525 million missile deal with an Israeli firm last year.

An Israeli Spike anti-tank missile. Credit: Dave1185/Wikimedia Commons.
An Israeli Spike anti-tank missile. Credit: Dave1185/Wikimedia Commons.

India will purchase Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel after initially canceling a $525 million missile deal with an Israeli firm last year.

According to a report in India’s Hindustan Times on Wednesday, the deal will now be implemented on a government-to-government basis rather than working directly through the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

India’s 2014 deal to purchase the anti-tank missiles from Rafael was overturned last November. At the time, Indian media reported that India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation planned to develop and produce its own anti-tank missile domestically.

The deal’s reported reactivation comes ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to India next week. Netanyahu will lead an Israeli trade delegation comprised of some 130 business leaders to negotiate defense deals.

Last April, Israel Aerospace Industries inked agreements amounting to $2 billion with India, including a $1.6 billion contract to deliver a medium-range surface-to-air missile defense system and a $400 million deal for a long-range surface-to-air missile system.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel last July in the first such trip by a holder of his office. India is Israel’s 10th-largest trade partner worldwide and its second-largest trade partner in Asia. In 2016, trade between Israel and India amounted to $4 billion.

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