Monday, November 09, 2009

India Deepens Defense Ties with Israel

From Outlook India 18/11/09 by Harinder Mishra in Jerusalem:

As India and Israel move to deepen their military ties, Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor arrived here on a key visit where he is scheduled to hold talks with top military officials.

General Kapoor will hold discussions with senior defence officials as 'part of regular ongoing exchanges' to tighten bilateral defence ties. The three-day visit will also allay fears that the CBI enquiry into controversial Barak missile deal may disrupt the robust defence ties between the two countries.

Defence sources here said that Gen Kapoor, who arrived here yesterday, will meet Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, besides other senior army officials.

He will also visit the Israel Defence Forces southern command.

Israel has become India's No. 1 supplier of arms and ammunition, overtaking Russia. The bulk of supplies constitute about 50 percent of Israel's defence exports and about 30 percent of India's imports.

Israel has supplied a range of defence products, including Barak missiles, assault rifles, night fighting devices, radar network, hi-tech electronic warfare systems and information technology related equipments.

The Indian Air Force last May received the first of the three Phalcon airborne early warning radar systems (AWACS) from Israel as part of a 1.1 billion USD deal in a big boost to its surveillance capabilities in the region.

The next delivery is expected in the first quarter of next year. As per recent reports, India is interested in working with Israel on submarine-launched cruise missiles, ballistic missile defense systems, laser-guided systems, satellites as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.
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