India to purchase 2 Phalcon AWACS aircraft from Israel given tensions with China

New Delhi: India has taken expeditious steps to equip the defence forces with the ultramodern weapons and defence equipment, following the Galwan Valley conflict with China. Under this, India has initiated steps to purchase two Phalcon AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System). Sources have informed that the Cabinet Committee on Security will soon approve the proposal. The Russian heavy aircraft, Ilyushin Il-76, will be used to install this system, also known as ‘Eyes in the Sky’. It is said that the deal with Israel for the two systems will be nearly USD 1 billion.  


awacs India has made its policies aggressive on the border, following the Galwan Valley conflict. Although all the possible efforts are being made on the political and military level to diffuse the tension, the Indian military has prepared itself to face any eventuality. The military deployment has been increased on the entire Chinese border, along with Ladakh. Tanks, missile defence systems and other defence equipment have been kept in a state of readiness on the border. At the same time, India is in constant contact with its major partner countries in the defence sector.   

All the countries, including Israel, have replied in the affirmative to the Indian demand for the supply of defence equipment and have indicated that the rate of deliveries will be accelerated. Even last month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had stressed on the same issue, during his meeting with the Israeli Defence Minister. Against this background, the news of the purchase of Phalcon AWACS being sanctioned becomes important.   

There are five AWACS operational in the Indian defence forces. Three of them have been purchased from Israel, and two are indigenously developed. In 2017, India had signed an agreement with Israel for the purchase of defence equipment worth more than USD 2 billion. Thereafter, the defence ministry ordered 16,000 Light Machine Guns from Israel. At the same time, indications have already been given that two super-advanced Israeli assault rifles will be manufactured in India. It is being said that the Indian military will also be purchasing Spike Firefly drones, anti-tank missiles and air defence system from Israel. 

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