India and Israel have inked defence deals worth over $2 billion for advanced medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) systems. As part of the deal, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will provide the Indian Army with Barak-8 advanced MRSAM systems.
- MRSAM is an advanced ground breaking air and missile defence system that can provide ultimate protection against a variety of aerial threats such as hostile aircraft, missiles and drones.
- It has been developed jointly by IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Other firms involved in project include Rafael, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited and L&T.
- The system includes advanced phased-array radar, command and control systems, mobile launchers and missiles with advanced RF seekers.
- Using its Multi-Function Surveillance and Threat Alert Radars (MF-STARs), as well as weapon control systems with data links, it can detect and track hostile aerial threats at a range of 100-km and destroy them at 70-km.
- The MRSAM is operational with the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Israel Defense Forces. Its deployment in Indian Army will help in plugging the existing holes in India’s air defence coverage.
Israel currently is the fourth-largest arms supplier to India after the US, Russia and France. The MRSAM systems defence deal between India and Israel will further tighten the bilateral strategic partnership between both countries ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impending visit to Israel in July 2017.