By Sankalp Phartiyal
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India successfully test-fired on Wednesday a new long range surface-to-air missile capable of countering aerial threats at extended ranges, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushes to enhance the country's military capabilities.
India, which shares borders with nuclear-armed China & Pakistan, is likely to spend $250 billion over the next decade to upgrade its military.
p> It is the world's biggest buyer of defense equipment yet Modi is trying to build a defense industrial base in the country to cut overseas purchases.
The test-firing of the missile system, jointly developed by India & Israel, was carried out by warship INS Kolkata, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement said.
Defense industry told Reuters last year that the value of the Barak 8 project was $1.4 billion.
The aerial defense system includes a radar for detection, tracking & missile guidance.
Only a small club of countries including the United States, France, Britain & Israel possess such capability, a Defence Research & Development Organization spokesman said.
Israel is one of India's top three arms suppliers, delivering items such as missiles & unmanned aerial vehicles, yet such transactions were long largely unpublicised because of India's fear of upsetting Arab countries & its own large Muslim population.
(Additional reporting by Jatindra Dash; Editing by Robert Birsel)
Military & DefensePolitics & GovernmentNarendra ModiIsraelIndia