WASHINGTON - An Israeli government-owned defence company has secured a US$ one billion deal to sell advanced surface-to-air missiles to India, The Jerusalem Post reported Saturday in its online edition. The newspaper said the move was another sign of the strong defence ties between Israel and India. Last year, the Jewish state overtook Russia as the main supplier of defence systems to India, it added. Under the deal, approved last week by the Indian cabinet, the Israeli company Rafael will supply 18 Spyder mobile missile systems by 2012. The Spyder ensures protection of high-value assets as well as manoeuvring combat forces, The Jerusalem Post said. The system is an all-weather, network-centric, self-propelled, multi-launch and quick-reaction air defence system. Vertical launch enables 360-degree missile launching, within two seconds of the target being declared hostile by the system. The system, built by Rafael and the MBT missile division of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)s subsidiary Elta, Spyder is also capable of simultaneously engaging a number of targets and can operate day or night, it said. According to the Times of India, the deal was held up for several months due to allegations that IAI and Rafael had given kickbacks to officials in New Delhi. The govt, the newspaper said, decided not to blacklist the Israeli defence firms due to the importance of the projects.