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At the recent AeroSpace Services India (ASI) event in New Delhi, Boaz Levy, President and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), called for a renewed collaboration between India and Israel on developing a next-generation air defence system.

Levy’s suggestion builds upon the successful collaboration between India and Israel on the medium-range surface-to-air Missile (MRSAM) system. This system, currently deployed by the Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy, boasts a range of 70-90 kilometres and can engage various aerial threats.

Levy’s suggestion seems to be for a more ambitious project – a Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) system. This new system would offer a significantly extended reach compared to the MRSAM, providing India with enhanced air defence capabilities.

However, the proposal comes with a layer of complexity. The joint development of MRSAM involved India’s Dual-pulse motor technology. Despite this collaboration, Israel later developed its variant, the Barak-8, for export. This version replaced the Indian motor with Israeli technology and altered the missile design, raising concerns about India’s long-term reliance on co-developed systems, where Israel completely cut off India from its supply chain but also exported without any Indian approvals.

India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is already working on its own LRSAM program. This indigenous system, designed to complement the S-400 air defence system acquired from Russia, aligns with India’s push for self-reliance in defence technology.

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