NEW DELHI — Indian state enterprise Bharat Electronics Limited signed a $630 million contract on May 19 with Israel Aerospace Industries to jointly produce four long-range surface-to-air missile systems for the Indian Navy.

"Yes, a contract was signed May 19 in Bangalore for [LRSAM] systems. However, work share and other commercial details are confidential and cannot be shared," BEL's marketing director, Anandi Ramalingam, told Defense News on Monday. "BEL will start delivering the [LRSAM] systems from early 2020, onwards."

Under the contract, BEL will produce a major portion of the multifunction active electronically scanned array naval radar system, or MF-STAR, and the rest of the weapon control systems, Ramalingam added.

The company will also carry out system integration and commissioning activities.

In a May 21 news release, IAI announced it was awarded "an additional, $630 million contract for supply of LRSAM air and missile defense systems for four ships of the Indian navy. The contract will be carried out, for the first time, with Indian government company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which serves as the main contractor in the project as part of India's 'Make in India' policy."

IAI president and CEO Joseph Weiss offered: "The new contract adds to other deals signed in the last decade by IAI with India's defense forces, reinforcing IAI's global leadership position in air and missile defense systems. The inclusion of Indian governmental company BEL for the first time, is a step up in our relationship with the Indian industry as part of the 'Make in India' policy."

According to the news release, the joint development of the advanced air and missile defense system will involve IAI, its subsidiary Elta Systems, India's Defence Research and Development Organization, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and various Indian companies including BEL, Bharat Dynamics Limited and private Indian company Larsen & Toubro.

The LRSAM system is meant for both Indian and Israeli defense forces. Each unit comprises one command and control system, an MF-STAR radar system and two launchers that can send eight 150-kilometer-range radio frequency surface-to-air missiles simultaneously. The system also provides 360-degree coverage

"Prior to signing the contract, the System was successfully tested last week in India as part of operational interception trial aboard India's navy ship, demonstrating again the [LRSAM] System's operational capabilities in a representative scenario with genuine target," the IAI statement said.

During the trial launch, the missile in midair "engaged the target, aligned its course, hit it and destroyed it," IAI said. "All components of the weapon system have successfully met the goals set to them."

Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Defense News.

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