India calls off $500m deal for Israeli anti-tank missiles | World Defense

India calls off $500m deal for Israeli anti-tank missiles

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India calls off deal for Israeli anti-tank missiles
Reuters Staff
JANUARY 03, 2018


JERUSALEM (Reuters) - India has called off an order to buy Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel’s state-owned defense contractor Rafael, the company said on Wednesday.

The deal was worth about $500 million and the announcement of its termination came a couple of weeks before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to visit India.

An Indian Defence Ministry spokesman declined comment on the cancellation. Local media reported that India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation was developing a domestic anti-tank missile the government was keen to support.

“Rafael regrets the decision and remains committed to cooperating with the Indian Ministry of Defence and to its strategy of continuing to work in India, an important market, as it has for more than two decades, to provide India with the most advanced and innovative systems,” the firm said in a statement.

However, India’s Defence Ministry said separately it had cleared a plan to buy 131 Barak surface-to-air missiles built by Rafael. The 4.6-billion-rupee ($72 million) order follows up an earlier purchase of Barak missiles, meant to protect navy vessels against sea-skimming missiles and aerial threats.

The two countries have grown closer since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, widening commercial cooperation beyond their longstanding defense ties.

Modi became the first sitting Indian prime minister to visit Israel last summer, and Netanyahu will fly to India on Jan. 14.

Rafael, whose CEO will join Netanyahu on his trip, said the cancellation was made prior to the signing of the final supply contract and despite its compliance with all of India’s wishes.

Reporting by Dan Williams, Ari Rabinovitch and Sanjeev Miglani; editing by Mark Heinrich

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...-for-israeli-anti-tank-missiles-idUSKBN1ES0R4
 

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Israel-India guided missile deal back on track: Netanyahu
Ori Lewis
JANUARY 17, 2018

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday during a tour of India he had been informed by the Indian government that it had decided to put a major anti-tank missile deal back on track.

There was no immediate comment from Indian authorities.

Earlier this month, Israel’s state-owned defence contractor Rafael said India’s Ministry of Defence had cancelled the deal worth about $500 million to buy Spike anti-tank guided missiles.

“Following talks I have held with my friend, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian government has informed us that it is putting the Spike deal back on track. This is very important and there will be many more deals,” Netanyahu said in a brief video statement during his five-day visit to India.

There were no additional details of how the deal might be consummated but Israel’s Channel 1 television said the original half-billion-dollar value would be cut in half.

Netanyahu is making the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to India for 15 years and Modi’s nationalist government has rolled out the red carpet, regarding Israel as an ally in the fight against terrorism.

Netanyahu and Modi have pledged to deepen economic and security ties in a more open embrace of the relationship which New Delhi had long kept at a low profile, largely for fear of upsetting Arab nations on which it depends for oil.

Israel has given initial approval for Indian energy companies to explore oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean. Bilateral trade has jumped from $200 million in 1992, when the two countries opened diplomatic relations, to $4.16 billion in 2016, largely in favour of Israel.

Israel has emerged as one of India’s biggest suppliers of weapons alongside the United States and long-term partner Russia. Last year, Modi made a first trip to Israel by an Indian prime minister ever.

Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Mark Heinrich

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...le-deal-back-on-track-netanyahu-idUSKBN1F62DS
 
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