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India is set to purchase an advanced short-range air defense system from Israel to bolster its aging Russian-made equipment, a news agency reported Sunday.
India has agreed to buy the Spyder system, the Press Trust of India news agency reported, adding that the military was awaiting Cabinet approval for the deal worth about US $240 million.
The army plans to buy four batteries of the system, PTI quoted unnamed senior officers as saying.
Military officials were unavailable for comment Sunday.
The truck mounted system is made by Israel's Rafael armaments company. In India, the missiles would be mounted on locally made Tata trucks, PTI said.
The Spyder is designed to counter attacks by aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and precision guided munitions, according to Rafael's Web site.
It uses a combination of two missiles, the Derby active radar missile and the Python 5, which uses infra red to track incoming objects, according to Rafael. The system's radar can track up to 60 targets at a time.
The company had no immediate comment on the purchase.
Israel has emerged as a leading arms supplier to India in recent years as it tries to modernize its large military.
In 2004, Israel agreed to sell three PHALCON airborne early warning systems to India. The US $1.1 billion dollar deal was Israel's biggest one-time sale of military hardware.
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