India cancels $ 500m deal with Israeli company

Indian media reported on Monday that New Delhi had taken a deal to buy anti-tank missile systems with an Israeli arms company worth $ 500 million.

The decision was made after a local defense firm persuaded it to manufacture similar missiles at a cheaper cost, the Indian Express newspaper quoted unnamed government officials as saying.

They pointed out that the company's domestic efforts to manufacture anti-tank anti-tank guided missiles "are progressing rapidly."

"The company successfully tested the September missile system and it has committed to deliver the Indian army's missile system within two years," the officials said.

New Delhi has signed a deal to buy 321 Spike rocket launchers and 8,000 and 356 rockets from the Israeli arms company Rafael in October 2014.

In December 2017, India appealed the deal for a local company before changing its decision again in January 2018 after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the country.

Indo-Israeli relations were characterized by a kind of estrangement during the Nehru and Indira Gandhi periods, when New Delhi played a central role in the Non-Aligned Movement. However, the break-up became close cooperation in various areas after 1992, the date of formal diplomatic relations between the two sides, and then consolidated to become Israel's primary source of India's military imports.

According to data published by the Israeli Prime Minister's office in 2017, trade between the two countries grew from $ 200 million in 1992 to $ 4 billion in 2016.

India cooperated with "Israel" in some of the cases in which the latter was subjected to international condemnation, especially with regard to equality between Zionism and racism, in exchange for Israel's support for India in the face of Pakistan.

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