India, Israel to jointly develop anti-aircraft missiles

India will jointly build a surface-to-air missile with its second biggest weapons supplier Israel and hopes for such collaborations with other countries, the defence minister said Wednesday.

India, Israel to jointly develop anti-aircraft missiles
"A project has been finalised with (state-run) Israeli Aerospace Industry for the joint development of a futuristic long range surface-to-air missile," Defence Minister A.K. Antony announced in parliament.

He did not give details of the project but others said New Delhi earlier this month had approved the 625-million-dollar joint venture with the Jewish state to build the anti-aircraft missiles for the Indian navy.

The announcement in parliament came a day after India conducted its first test of a nuclear-capable missile from an undersea platform, completing its goal of having air, land and sea ballistic systems.

Antony said India's ambitious missile development programme launched in 1983 was nearing its completion following the successful trials and mass production of an array of ballistic and guided missiles.

"The country's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme has not been abandoned, but it is now near completion," Antony said.

"India has received a number of offers for the joint collaboration in various kinds of missiles from various countries," Antony said without giving details.

India has co-built a supersonic cruise missile called BrahMos with its primary arms supplier Russia and is trying to export the weapon to other countries.

Antony meanwhile said India was giving up a project to locally build a short-range surface-to-air missile called Trishul (Trident).

The project has been dogged by frequent failures during trials in the past few years.

The announcements came two months after India said it would test a ballistic missile with a range of 6,000 kilometres (3,720 miles) later this year.

India, which declared itself a nuclear-weapons state in 1998 following a series of atomic detonations, is also shopping for arms worth 30 billion dollars to modernise its technology-starved military.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday wrapped up a two-day visit to India that focused on US arms sales and a burgeoning military relationship with the South Asian country.

US arms contractors are keen to compete for Indian weapons contracts, particularly one for 126 multi-role fighter aircraft worth 10 to 12 billion dollars.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Şubat 2008, 16:35