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US okays Israeli Phalcon sale to India
Harsh Dobhal in Jerusalem | May 22, 2003 12:47 IST
The United States has given the green signal to Israel for the sale of Phalcon airborne radar systems worth $1 billion to the Indian Air Force, the Ha'aretz daily reported on Thursday.
The approval assumes significance in view of the proposed visit of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to India.
The US had supported the sale about eighteen months ago. However, in early 2002, Washington asked Tel Aviv to postpone the sale because of rising tension between India and Pakistan.
The US may also allow Israel to export defence systems against ballistic missiles, the daily reported.
If those restrictions were lifted, India would be able to purchase Arrow anti-missile defence systems, which were developed with American financing.
The Phalcon is a long-range radar mounted on a Russian-built cargo plane, which would extend the range of the IAF.