India to Purchase 131 Israeli Barak Missiles

India's Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared the procurement of 131 Barak Missiles from IAI for $72 million. The announcement comes two weeks ahead of PM Netanyahu's visit to India

India’s defense ministry on Tuesday approved the purchase of 131 Barak missiles and associated equipment for the Indian Navy at the cost of $72 million (Rs. 460 crore).

The Barak Missiles are surface-to-air missiles designed to be used as a ship-borne anti-missile defense system against anti-ship missiles. They were jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, in collaboration with India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

According to Defense World, the missile system comprises of advanced phased-array radar, command and control systems, as well as launchers and missiles with advanced RF seekers. It provides missile defense against a variety of aerial, naval and airborne threats.

The procurement was cleared by Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a meeting of the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) on January 2, 2018. The minister also cleared the procurement of 240 precision-guided munitions or bombs, at the cost of $197 million (Rs. 1254 crore) from JSC Rosonboron Export, Russia for the Indian Air Force.

In the coming weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to pay an official visit to India. The timing of this announcement can be seen as a gesture to Netanyahu ahead of his meeting with PM Modi.