Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) has signed one of its largest arms deals, for the sale of $1.1 billion worth of missiles, anti-missile systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), intelligence and other systems.
In a brief notice to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), IAI announced that it has signed a four-year, $1.1 billion arms deal with an Asian country. It did not name the customer or the systems that would be sold, but said that advances would be paid in exchange for guarantees in the same amount.
Sources inform ''Globes'' that IAI has been in intensive talks with Indian defense procurement officials. Other Israeli defense companies have simultaneously been offering India their wares in an attempt to win the huge contract. IAI CEO Yitzhak Nissan personally led the negotiations for the company, which has already signed large arms deals with India, including for the sale of Barak ground-based and ship defense missiles, accelerated its negotiations.
A source close to the deal told "Globes" that it would greatly boost IAI's orders backlog, and is a major personal achievement for Nissan at a time when the global defense market is in crisis following the US departure from Iraq and other countries slash defense spending.
"A deal of this size should not be taken for granted at a time when many countries are cutting their defense spending because of uncertainty in global markets. Nissan succeeded in reaching a mega-deal that will give IAI financial and job security for years," the source said.