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Israel Aerospace signs Indian missile and UAV deals

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. has signed three strategic cooperation agreements with Indian companies for joint development and production in IAI's main spheres of activity in that country: missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), air defense systems, and chairs for military and civilian aircraft.

The agreements were inked by IAI CEO Joseph Weiss, who is attending the Aero India exhibition in India that opened yesterday in Bangalore. 11 Israeli companies are exhibiting developments and products in aeronautics systems in a pavilion set up by the Ministry of Defense International Defense Cooperation Authority (SIBAT). Ministry of Defense director general Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Adam and SIBAT head Brigadier General (res.) Michel Ben-Baruch inaugurated the pavilion at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, which is regarded as one of the world's most prestigious weapons exhibitions.

One of the new agreements signed involves a partnership with the defense arm of India's Kalyani Strategic Systems group. Under the agreement, the two companies will establish a joint company for developing, producing, and marketing air defense systems, lightweight munitions, and special purpose munitions. IAI has vast knowledge and experience in air defense systems and special-purpose munitions, and sells such systems produced by its subsidiary in Yehud.

These precision-guided munitions are launched at targets by UAVs after spending a long time circling above the target, at the command of their operators. IAI is involved in air defense systems in India through a partnership with Indian Ministry of Defense research and development agency in the Barak 8 defensive missile development program.

IAI also signed an agreement with Indian company Dynamatic Technologies Limited (DTL) involving production, assembly, maintenance, and support in ventures relating to mini-UAVs. The new agreement includes the transfer of information pertaining to the assembly of IAI's mini-UAVs in India. DTL will be the chief contractor for defense groups in India.

IAI signed another agreement with Taneja Aerospace & Aviation Limited (TAAL) involving joint production of chairs for military and civilian aircraft. Under this agreement, IAI's Golan Industries subsidiary will develop innovative aircraft seats. Production will take place in India in accordance with the made in India policy led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This policy requires international companies to rearrange their business in the Indian market through partnerships with local companies.

Weiss said, "These cooperative efforts will enable us to maintain our position in India and expand our business there in the future. He added, "We will move a substantial part of our UAV business to India. We will complete jointly with DTL in the upcoming tender to be published in India for a UAV deal. At the same time, we will also continue to invest in air defense and missiles in India in cooperation with the Kalyani group."

Defense sources predicted that IAI's new agreements would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the future, due to IAI's greater access to procurement tenders to be published in India in the coming years. "The potential of these agreements is vast. They reflect the adaptation of IAI's business to the Indian market based on a strategy of partnerships in future tenders," Weiss concluded.

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