Jerusalem – India’s Defense Minister Shri Antony recently told parliament that Israel was a key partner in the development of missiles. Mr. Antony said Israel was supplying components for medium- and long-range missiles for the Indian Air Force and Navy.

“Procurement of defense items, including missiles, is made from various indigenous as well as foreign sources, including Israel, in accordance with the well-laid down defense procurement procedure,” Mr. Antony said in a statement to parliament on Monday.

The Indian Defense Ministry said the missile development projects included the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, regarded as a leading defense contractor in India.

Mr. Antony also said the Israel Aircraft Industries was helping to develop the long-range surface-to-air missile for the Indian Navy as well as the medium range surface-to-air missile for the Indian Air Force. The long-range missile project was reported at $55.9 million, and the medium-range program $216 million.

“Both missiles being developed are comparable in performance and cost to missiles available in their class in the world market,” the ministry said.

Israel was said to have become the leading defense contractor to India this year.

Israel has been selling more than $1 billion worth of defense material and services to India.

The Indian Defense Ministry also reported contracts with the Aircraft Industries organization as well as other Israeli companies, including Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Mr. Antony said India’s Central Bureau of Investigation was probing allegations of improprieties in IAI’s contract to supply the Barak point-defense missile system to the navy.

“The case is pending investigation,” the minister said.