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In another sign of improving ties between India and Israel, defense industry officials announced Saturday that the Indian Air Force and the Rafael Armament Development Authority were in advanced negotiations to sign a $239 million deal on the procurement of the Israeli-developed Spyder Air Defense Systems (ADS).
Indian Air Chief Marshal S. P. Tyagi told reporters last week that the air force planned to purchase 18 Spyder systems. Equipped with Python-5 and Derby missiles, the Spyder will provide India's air force with the capability to down enemy aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles (UAV), drones and precision-guided munitions.
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"Price negotiations are over and the deal has been sent to the Cabinet Committee on Security for clearance," Tyagi was quoted as saying in the Indian Defense Web site.
The Spyder ensures protection of high-value assets as well as maneuvering combat forces. The system is an all-weather, network-centric, self-propelled, multi-launch quick-reaction ADS. Vertical launch enables 360 missile launching, within two seconds of the target being declared hostile by the system.
The system, built by Rafael and the MBT missile division of Israel Aircraft Industries' (IAI) subsidiary Elta, is also capable of simultaneously engaging a number of targets and can operate both during day and night as well as in all weather conditions.
According to the Web site, Israel and India are also on the verge of setting up a $100 million joint venture to develop advanced electronic warfare (EW) systems for their air forces' fighter aircraft. The EW systems - featuring advanced radar jamming and electronic combat systems - would be installed, the report said, in India's Tejas Light Combat Aircraft and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Israel plans to buy from the US defense contractor Lockheed Martin.