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Deal for at least 8,000 missiles and 300 launchers comes amid border tensions with China and exchanges of fire with Pakistan. ndia has opted to buy Israel’s Spike anti-tank guided missile, a defence ministry source said on Saturday, rejecting a rival US offer of Javelin missiles that Washington had lobbied hard to win.
India will buy at least 8,000 Spike missiles and more than 300 launchers in a deal worth 32bn rupees ($525m), the source said after a meeting of India’s Defence Acquisition Council.
Israel and the United States are in the midst of a “diplomatic crisis,” Finance Minister Yair Lapid told a town hall meeting in Tel Aviv on Saturday.
“We need to approach [US-Israel ties] as if it were a crisis situation and to deal with it,” Lapid said. “Our relations with the US are vital and important for the State of Israel, which is why it should do everything in its power to extricate itself from this crisis and restore good ties.”
The latest sign of tension was evident this past week during Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's trip to the US, when he was categorically snubbed by the Obama administration.
Senior US officials had said they were still discussing the Javelin order as part of a broader push to deepen defence industry ties with India by increasing the share of production done in the country.
Analysts estimate that India, the world’s largest arms buyer, will invest as much as $250bn in upgrading its Soviet-era military hardware and close the gap on strategic rival China, which spends three times as much a year on defence.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will jointly build and launch an all-weather satellite to support disaster and risk management, understanding movement of tectonic plates to climate change and estimation of crop and tree cover, as reported the Deccan Chronicle.
“It is the turning point in India-US relations,”
The satellite will be launched onboard an Indian rocket in 2019 or 2020.