Indian media outlets are reporting that the government is debating whether to maintain a defense deal worth $500 million with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Earlier this month, Rafael confirmed the cancelation of the deal months after reports about India withdrawing from it surfaced.
Rafael exhibition Photo Credit: Alon Bason/Flash 90
According to Indian media outlets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is debating whether to go through with a deal worth $500 million with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. About a week and a half ago, Rafael officially confirmed the reports about the cancelation of the major deal.
The deal was canceled by India because of its desire to strengthen its domestic missile development program and prioritize local industries. However, the Indian military is apparently pressuring the government to go through with the deal anyway because it will likely take the local industries time to develop similar technology.
The deal includes the purchase of at least 8,000 anti-tank missiles and 300 missile launchers. Negotiations between the two countries began in 2014 after the anti-tank system manufactured by Rafael outdid the competing system from an American company in an Indian military test. Per the terms of the deal, India is supposed to buy “Spike” anti-tank missiles- with an innovative guided missile system that locks onto a target before the missile is even launched.