India will buy new missiles and bombs worth Rs 1714 crore

Nirmala Sitharaman

Both moves come exactly two weeks before the state visit of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will be accompanied by 11-year-old Moishe Holtzberg, the sole Jewish survivor of the terrorist slaughter that took place at his parents' Nariman Chabad House in Mumbai on November 29, 2008.

The missiles will be bought at a cost of Rs 460 crore under an option clause from M/s Rafeal Advance Defence Systems Ltd, Israel. Israel has become a major defence supplier to India, selling an average of US$1 billion worth of military equipment each year.

The second proposal was the final contract for 131 Barak surface-to-air missiles (SAM), which are installed on all frontline warships of the Navy.

The Barak-8 naval air defence system, a long-range surface-to-air missile system, was jointly developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with Israel Aircraft Industry.

The system comprises of advanced phased-array radar, command and control systems, as well as launchers and missiles with advanced RF seekers. These bombs, which fall under the category of Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs), are used by Indian Air Force (IAF).

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The state-of-the-art technology provides missile defence against a variety of aerial, naval and airborne threats.

The Rs 1,254 crore acquisition of the 240 "smart" KAB-1500 laser-guided bombs for Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets from M/s JSC Rosoboron Exports (Russia) will "address the deficiency of precisionguided munitions" in the IAF's arsenal as well as "enhance the offensive capabilities" of the force.

The IAF arsenal has an acute deficiency of PGMs, and thus this procurement will not only address the shortage but will also enhance its offensive capabilities.

It has, however, been moving away from relying on traditional ally Russian Federation for military hardware.

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