The companies will produce air-to-air missiles, air defense systems, and surveillance balloons or aerostats for the Indian military over the next ten years. The venture is projected to employ some 3,000 people at a campus in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Government-owned Rafael is slated to hold 49% of the joint venture, with Reliance holding the remaining 51%.
The deal was signed at the Defexpo India 2016 exhibition in Goa, which is taking place this week. Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon and Rafael CEO Yoav Har-Even were both in attendance.
Ties between Israel and India have been improving in recent years, particularly following the election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi two years ago.
India chose to purchase the Israeli Spike anti-tank missile system in October 2014, picking it over the competing American Javelin system. India and Israel conducted a successful joint test of a Barak-8 surface to air missile a month later. India announced in December that it was reconsidering its automatic support of the Palestinians at the United Nations.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense produced a video, embedded below, highlighting some of the technologies that would be presented in the Defexpo exhibition