Netanyahu announced that India’s purchase of an Israeli-made weapon, initially canceled in favor of a domestically developed product, was “back on track.”
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that India’s purchase of Israeli-made Spike anti-tank rockets was “back on track.”
“This is very important, and there will be many more deals,” Netanyahu, currently on a state visit to India to deepen ties and develop business, said.
“I am proud to be an Israeli and I am proud to be Prime Minister of Israel,” Netanyahu stated, following talks with his “friend,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We are moved by the amazing welcome we have received from the prime minister and citizens of India. It warms the heart to see tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of people, including children, standing in the streets and applauding the State of Israel.”
India’s Defense Ministry initially cancelled a $500 million deal to acquire Spike anti-tank missiles, developed by the Israeli Refael arms manufacturer, in favor of India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which is developing and producing a similar weapon.
India had decided to acquire an Israeli-made anti-tank rocket, picking it over the US-made Javelin, in October 2014.
The “Spike,” known as the “Gil” in Hebrew, is a fire-and-forget, long-range anti-tank rocket with a guidance system which locks on its target before launching. The Spike has medium, long and extended range versions and has been sold to 26 countries worldwide.
Israel and India enjoy the sharing of technological developments, and India is one of Israel’s biggest clients in the defense technology market. Israel’s military delegation to India is second in size only to its delegation to America.
The deal was described as a major milestone in Israeli-Indian relations.