India has approved a 2.5-billion-dollar deal to purchase a surface-to-air missile system from Israel.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the budget for its army to buy the Medium Range Surface to Air Defense Missile (MR-SAM) system from Israel Aerospace Industries, Indian media reported Thursday.
The Indian Army “will induct over five regiments of the MR-SAM missile, which will have around 40 firing units and over 200 missiles of the system,” wrote India Today, citing government sources.
The system can reportedly target aircraft, drones, and AWACS planes at the strike range of between 50 kilometers to 70 kilometers in the sky.
The first delivery of the missile system is expected in 2023.
The missile system will reportedly developed jointly by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization in collaboration with the Israel Aircraft Industry.
New Delhi and Tel Aviv signed an agreement back in February 2015 to jointly develop the missile system for the Indian army.
Israel has been supplying India with military hardware, including missiles, weapons systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles over the last few years.
Almost two years into the Saudi war on Yemen, a rights NGO says the military campaign has cost the lives of more than 12,000 civilians.
In a report released on Thursday, Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development, an independent monitoring group, put the civilian death toll in war-torn Arab country at 12,041.
The fatalities, it said, comprise 2,568 children and 1,870 women.
The rights body said the bombings have also wounded 20,001 civilians, including 2,354 children and 1,960 women, while more than four million others have been displaced.
Recounting the damage to Yemen’s already-flimsy infrastructure, the center said Saudi strikes had razed 270 medical centers, 25 media institutes, more than 402,076 houses and 706 mosques.
Armed with American and British ammunition and European warplanes, among other Western-supported military hardware, the kingdom launched the campaign against Yemen in March 2015.
The offensive is aimed at reinstalling the former Yemeni government, a close Riyadh ally.