NEW DELHI ― Indian government has lifted restricted blacklisting on Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, citing lack of evidence of supposed corruption.
A notification issued by the Indian Ministry of Defense last week said the government has decided to remove restrictions, effective immediately, that prevented the two Israeli defense companies to carry out defense business activities.
Following the acceptance of the classified report filed by the National Investigation Agency, the two companies are now permitted to participate in the ongoing and future procurements.
In 2006, Central Bureau of Investigation registered a corruption case against the two companies related to a $181.5 million deal for nine Barak-I anti-missile defence systems for the navy from IAI, and 200 missiles worth $54.6 million from Rafael. In February of this year, the two companies were put under restricted procurements category, permitted to carry out business dealings only on account of operational urgency, national security and non-availability of other alternatives.
Currently IAI is awaiting an additional order of two Phalcon airborne warning and control systems and unspecified numbers of tactical unmanned aerial vehicles, while Rafael is awaiting order for supply of Spike anti-tank guided missiles. An industry analyst who requested anonymity said MoD is now working out new measures to remove bottlenecks in weapons procurement, and lifting blacklisting is one such move.