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India to acquire 2 additional AWACS from Israel


India is expected to approve a $US 800 million (Rs 5,700 crore) deal with Israel for the delivery of 2 Phalcon A-50EI Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft.


India to acquire 2 additional AWACS from Israel Indian A-50EI AWACS aircraft, the KW-3552 (Picture source : Indian Defence Update)


Indian Air Force had already inducted three A-50EI AWACS equipped with EL/W-2090 in 2009 through a $1,1 billion deal inked by India, Israel and Russia in 2004. But the finance ministry had objected to “the high costs” involved in the new deal for two more AWACS. As it appears, those objections have now been beaten through extensive negotiations. Though, the importance of such aircraft is an established fact. Actually, AWACS can detect and track all incoming aircraft (fighters, bombers, cruise missiles, drones, ...) before ground-based radars, which make it really usefull for the fighters, knowing nearly immediately that an ennemy is incoming and where he is.

In addition to this acquisition, India is also known to be considering the acquisition of additional IAI Heron surveillance and armed drones and IAI HAROP killer UAVs, both made by the Israeli company Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI). India also hopes to renew a contract for Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

In another mega contract worth an estimated $US 1,7 billion (Rs 12,000 crore), Israeli firm Elbit Systems is also competing with Nexter Systems of France for suppling India with 400 towed 155mm artillery gun systems, which is to be followed by another 1,180 such guns to be made in India.

India also recently inked the $US 633 million (Rs 4,500 crore) deal with Israeli Aerospace Industries for 66 fire control radars, with maintenance transfer of technology. These 3-D surveillance and tracking radars will replace the aging Flycatcher radar systems present with the Army’s Air Defence Corps.

All of these contracts let appear that India is confident in the Israeli industry, continuing to increase its partnerships with Israeli companies all along the months. Therefore, Israel has become one of the top arms suppliers of India (alongside Russia).