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India, Israel ink the Phalcon deal

March 05, 2004 20:19 IST

In the biggest-ever bilateral defence deal, India and Israel on Friday signed a Rs 5,000 crore deal for the supply of three Phalcon advanced early warning system aircraft to be mounted on Russian-made IL-76 platform for Indian Air Force.

All the three aircraft would be delivered within five years of advance payment being made, a defence ministry spokesman said.

He said Joint Secretary (AIR) C R Mahapatra and top officials of the visiting Israeli defence ministry team had signed the deal.

The spokesman said the first of the three aircraft would be delivered in 44 months, second in four and half years and the last in fifth year.

"The Phalcon deal is the biggest leap forward yet for Israeli military exports," Amos Yaron, director of Israeli defence ministry, said in a statement in Jerusalem.

The delivery of AWACS would be big force multiplier for IAF, a top IAF officials said asserting it would give India the capability to look deep into the country's -- over 700kms -- neighbourhood for quick reaction time in case of missile and aircraft attacks.

The clearance by the Israeli Cabinet Committee on security last week had paved the way for the signing of the biggest ever Indo-Israeli arms deal so far.

Israel has emerged as one of the largest exporter of arms to India over the last six years.

According to defence ministry sources, there is no US made equipment in the Phalcon system, which consists of a long-range aerial radar with look up and down capability mounted on a Russian made plane.

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