India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Tuesday cleared the purchase of two more surveillance aircraft from Israel at a cost of INR 7,500 crore (USD 1.1 billion).
The CCS chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the proposal for two Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) under a tripartite agreement with Israel and Russia, The Hindu reported Thursday.
The AWACS are advanced radars mounted on an aircraft to give 360 degree coverage to detect incoming aircraft and missiles at long ranges.
India had procured three Phalcon AWACS, Israeli radars mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft, in 2003 at cost of $1 billion.
Modi is expected to visit Israel later this year, the first by any Indian prime minister.
According to a report by HIS Jane's 380 website, India is expected to procure Israeli military equipment worth an estimated $3 billion ahead of the visit.
In addition to the AWACS, it is due to procure four supplementary Rafael/IAI radar-equipped aerostats for low-level air and sea surveillance by the Indian Air Force, Haaretz reported.
The CCS, the federal government's primary body on defense and security matters, is also expected to approve a joint development project by IAI/Rafael and India's state-run Defense Research and Development Organization for medium-range surface-to-air missiles for the Indian Army.