Jerusalem: Israel has emerged as India’s largest defence supplier, overtaking Russia. It has signed defence deals worth $9 billion with New Delhi in the last decade, a media report here said on Sunday.

“There is close cooperation and the Indians respect the Israeli systems and our experience in fighting terror,” a defence official was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post.

Russia had averaged sale of $875 million annually to India for the past 40 years. In the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, India purchased from Israel the aerostat radar system to defend the country’s coastline for $600 million, the daily said.

The radars will be deployed at strategic points to provide warning against incoming enemy aircraft and missiles.

Surface-to-air missiles

Israel and India have also agreed upon the joint development of medium-range surface-to-air missiles for the Air Force, the report said. New Delhi is expected to receive the first of three new Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), part of a $1.1 billion deal signed between the two countries by March.

Both sides are said to be in talks for the possible purchase of another three AWACS. — PTI