Sharon wanted to sign Phalcon deal with India now

The business negotiations are not yet complete. India plans to buy three Phalcon AWACs planes, following US approval of the deal.

Sources inform “Globes” that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had planned to sign the $1 billion contract to deliver Phalcon AWACS planes to India on his official visit there next month. However, the negotiations between Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), IAI-Elta Electronics Industries and India's Ministry of Defense have not yet been completed.

The Prime Minister's Bureau confirmed that a signing ceremony had been planned, but that it would not take place because of the delay in the negotiations. IAI declined to comment to the report. A source close to the deal confirmed that the negotiations with India's Ministry of Defense had not yet reached a commercial agreement.

Elta is due to supply three Phalcons to India. The radar and electronics systems will be installed on a Russian-built Ilyushin Il-76 at the request of the Indian Air Force.

India has become one of the largest buyers of Israeli arms in recent years, procuring hundreds of millions of dollars of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), weapons systems for its land forces, and border warning systems.

Published by Globes [online] - - on August 25, 2003

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