The state-owned Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), the country's largest aerospace and defense company, today announced the signing of an agreement to sell a maritime anti-missile system to India for 777 million dollars.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman welcomed the agreement as "proof that security is an investment, not an expense," he wrote in his Twitter account.
The agreement, signed with the Indian state company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), establishes that Israel will supply a maritime version of the well-known missile defense system Barak 8 (LR-SAM) to the Indian Navy.
The Barak 8 was developed by the IAI in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Defense, the Organization for Indian Defense Research, the Marines of both countries, the Israeli defense company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Indian companies.
The IAI develops and produces advanced systems for air, space, sea, land, cybersecurity and national security, both for Israel and for several international clients.
India maintains long-standing territorial disputes with China and Pakistan and since its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, came to power in 2014, his country has signed several defense treaties.
Commentators point out that India has been moving away from Russia, its ally and traditional supplier of military equipment, and has strengthened ties with Israel, both in defense and diplomacy.
Israel sells military equipment to India for an average of 1,000 million dollars a year, according to the Times of Israel newspaper.
The two countries signed an agreement last year of nearly $ 2 billion, for which Israel, among other things, will supply India for several years with mid-range surface-to-air missiles, shuttles and communication technology.