Fri Apr 7, 2017 12:9AM
This file photo shows a view of the Israeli Barak 8 surface-to-air missile system.
This file photo shows a view of the Israeli Barak 8 surface-to-air missile system.

India has awarded the Israeli regime a $2 billion contract to provide the Indian military with advanced missile systems.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), in a statement released on Thursday, announced that the deal will include medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) systems, which is known in Israel as the Barak 8 (the Hebrew word for Lightning), and long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) systems for India's first aircraft carrier, which is still being built.

The statement described the nearly 2-billion-dollar contract as the largest military deal Israel has ever signed.

“Over the past 25 years, IAI has worked with the Indian... armed forces in many areas as part of our strategic partnership. The current contracts represent an enormous expression of confidence by the government of India in IAI’s capabilities and advanced technologies,” said IAI President and CEO Joseph Weiss.

The deal came after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the budget for the contract in February.

The Barak 8 is an advanced missile system, which operates on land and in the air. The system is designed to operate against cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, helicopters, fighter jets, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The system can reportedly target aircraft, drones, and AWACS planes at a strike range of 50-70 kilometers in the sky.

The first delivery of the missile system is expected in 2023.

The missile system will reportedly be developed jointly by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization in collaboration with Israel.

Israel has been supplying India with various weapons systems, missiles and drones over the past few years, making India one of Israel’s largest buyers of military hardware.

Israel has signed around $10 billion worth of military contracts with India over the past 15 years, according to Indian media.

India is also reportedly set to receive 10 Israeli Heron-TP armed drones worth about $400 million.