- Israel and India have experienced a rapid warming of ties as they expand their strategic alliance. Tel Aviv has been supplying India with weapons for a number of years, including various weapons systems, missiles and drones.
India, the world’s largest defence importer, has been investing tens of billions in updating its military equipment to counter long-standing tensions with regional rivals China and Pakistan.
Israel, which sees India as a strategic partner in reaching its own goals in the region is a top weapons exporter, with sales last year surging to $6.5 billion.
There is a history of cordial ties of Israel with India. In 1991 India established official relation with Israel. In the year 2000, Jaswant Singh became the first Indian Foreign Minister to visit Israel. Following the visit, the two countries set up a joint anti-terror commission. The foreign ministers of the two countries said intensified co-operation would range from counter-terrorism to information technology
In 2003 Ariel Sharon was the first Israeli Prime minister to visit India. Sharon during his visit said that Israelis “regard India to be one of the most important countries in the world,”
Now on Sunday IAI signed largest defence contract in Israel’s defence industry’s history after signing a $1.6 billion mega-contract with the Indian Army in April for the MRSAM advanced defence systems as well as additional long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) defence systems for Indian aircraft Carrie
Israel Aerospace Industries has signed a $630 million deal with the Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company Bharat Electronics Limited to provide India with the naval version of the aerial defence system Barak 8 for four navy ships.
Prior to signing the contract, which also includes the procurement of radar, missiles and a command and control board for the system, India’s Western Naval Command successfully conducted a trial firing of the MRSAM (medium-range surface-to-air missile) from the INS Kochi as part of operational interception trial, demonstrating again the system’s operational capabilities in a representative scenario with a real target.
The MRSAM, jointly developed by IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organization and manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Limited, “successfully tracked and intercepted a low-flying high-speed target at enhanced range with pin-point accuracy,” the New Indian Express website quoted an official as stating last week.
LARSAM is a joint venture of IAI and Indian defence research and development organisation. This contract was carried out by BEL which will serve as main contractor in project as part of make in India policy. The new contract adds to other deals signed in the last decade by IAI with India’s defence forces, reinforcing IAI s global leadership position in air and missile defence systems,” IAI president and CEO Joseph Weiss said in a statement. 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. This unique project represents the close collaboration between India’s DRDO, IAI and the defence forces of both countries. We will proceed to implement it with joint efforts,” he added.
Boaz Levi, executive vice president and general manager of the Systems, Missiles and Space Group, added that IAI “takes pride, along with our partners in India, in the great results of the trial conducted last week, which re-establishes the system’s reliability and quality as well as its advanced technological capabilities. IAI is in an accelerated process to supply the various air and missile defence systems to the client. We will continue to support our partners in India in advancing the industry and security of both countries.”
India is clearing its foreign policy lines and by signing this major deal has made an open threat for regions like Pakistan and china. So we have to see what will be the reaction take of Pakistani government about this deal…