Indo-Is­raeli De­fence Co­op­er­a­tion (Army)

Prais­ing Modi’s ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive, Is­rael’s De­fence Min­is­ter Moshe Ya’alon said that Is­rael wants to take ad­van­tage of it and added that the NDA Gov­ern­ment has brought a new vigour to bi­lat­eral de­fence ties


Prais­ing Modi’s ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive, Is­rael’s De­fence Min­is­ter Moshe Ya’alon said that Is­rael wants to take ad­van­tage of it and added that the NDA Gov­ern­ment has brought a new vigour to bi­lat­eral de­fence ties Lt General Naresh Chand (Retd)

FOR ABOUT FOUR DECADES In­dia had no di­rect re­la­tions with Is­rael but due to changes in the in­ter­na­tional geostrate­gic sce­nario, In­dia de­cided to es­tab­lish full diplo­matic re­la­tions with Is­rael in 1992. Since its birth, Is­rael was mo­ti­vated to de­velop its ar­ma­ment in­dus­try be­cause of se­cu­rity threats sur­round­ing it, em­bar­goes, na­tional pride and its en­deav­our to be in­de­pen­dent in de­fence weapons and tech­nol­ogy. It has also got great sup­port from the United States in this field. As a re­sult, Is­rael has ac­quired a great de­gree of self-suf­fi­ciency in a vast range of plat­forms, lethal weapons and sen­sors. Their un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles (UAVs) are world-class. Dur­ing var­i­ous con­flicts like Kargil, In­dia has been look­ing to­wards Is­rael for de­fence tech­nol­ogy and weapons. Fight­ing ter­ror­ism is an­other area where In­dia has been seek­ing their co­op­er­a­tion. They were the first ones to pro­vide Green Pine radars for mis­sile de­fence. Salient as­pects of de­fence co­op­er­a­tion for land forces is high­lighted be­low.

Small arms for ln­fantry and Spe­cial Forces.

In­dia has ac­quired Ta­vor-21 5.56mm as­sault ri­fles and Galil sniper ri­fles. It is re­ported that ac­qui­si­tion of Desert Ea­gle/Jeri­cho hand­guns, Mi­cro-Uzi ma­chine pis­tols and Negev 5.56mm light ma­chine guns for spe­cial forces is also on the cards.

F-IN­SAS (fu­ture in­fantry sol­dier as a sys­tem) project.

Is­rael’s ex­per­tise in net­work­ing sys­tems, sen­sors and de­fence elec­tron­ics is well known. Thus col­lab­o­ra­tion with Is­rael in this field will help in de­vel­op­ing F-IN­SAS rapidly.

In­dia has al­ready im­ported Is­rael Aerospace In­dus­tries’ (IAI) Heron and Searcher for the In­dian Army as well as the Navy and the Air Force. Heron is medium al­ti­tude (about 30,000 ft), long-en­durance UAV and thus is be­ing used in the moun­tain­ous re­gion. Searcher has a ceil­ing of about 15,000 ft and is be­ing em­ployed in the plains (Searcher Mk1) and Searcher Mk2 is be­ing used in the desert ter­rain. IAI’s BirdEye 650D is an ad­vanced, af­ford­able, long-en­durance mini-UAS and pro­vides real-time sta­bilised day/night im­agery data


The naval ver­sion has been suc­cess­fully fired on De­cem­ber 30, 2015, from INS Kolkata. Land ver­sion called medium-range SAM (MRSAM), is said to be a very ad­vanced SAM that can track and shoot down in­com­ing mis­siles and other fly­ing ob­jects with a very high level of ac­cu­racy. While LRSAM is for Navy, the Air Force has al­ready an or­der for MRSAM and the army vari­ant has been re­cently ap­proved. The sys­tem in­cludes a mis­sile and multi-func­tional sur­veil­lance and threat alert radar for de­tec­tion, track­ing and guid­ance of the mis­sile. An Army ver­sion of the MRSAM for one reg­i­ment worth about 9,000 crore (about $1.4 bil­lion) was agreed upon be­tween De­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar and his Is­raeli coun­ter­part Moshe Ya’alon dur­ing his visit to In­dia in Fe­bru­ary 2015. How­ever, given the re­quire­ment this num­ber is ex­pected to go up. The mis­siles will be man­u­fac­tured by the Bharat Dy­nam­ics Lim­ited.

Ar­tillery Sys­tems 130mm towed gun.

This gun was be­ing made into 155-cal­i­bre by In­dia’s Ord­nance Fac­tory Board with col­lab­o­ra­tion with Soltam of Is­rael. Later on Soltam was black­listed by the Min­istry of De­fence but it is be­lieved that the new De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure be­ing re­leased be­fore De­fexpo 2016 will ra­tio­nalise the norms for black­list­ing so that In­dia’s de­fence mod­erni­sa­tion is not ad­versely ef­fected.

Long-range gun.


To make up the large voids in all types of ar­tillery guns, Kalyani Strate­gic Sys­tems Lim­ited (KSSL) has tied up with El­bit of Is­rael to jointly pro­duce ar­tillery guns in In­dia. It is claimed that Bharat-52 is a long-range 155mm/52-cal­i­bre gun is the first in­dige­nous so­lu­tion of its kind, de­signed and de­vel­oped in In­dia. Bharat-52 is a futuristic towed gun, pro­vid­ing a highly ma­noeu­vrable field ar­tillery so­lu­tion.

Is­rael’s De­fence Min­is­ter Moshe Ya’alon vis­ited In­dia dur­ing Fe­bru­ary 2015 when he stated that Is­rael was ready to share cutting-edge de­fence tech­nolo­gies with In­dia and both coun­tries will go for code­vel­op­ment of a num­ber of key weapon sys­tems soon. He added that Is­rael was ready to set up man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in In­dia. Prais­ing Modi’s ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive, he said Is­rael wants to take ad­van­tage of it and added that the NDA Gov­ern­ment has brought a new vigour to bi­lat­eral de­fence ties. “Modi’s con­cept of ‘Make in In­dia’ is en­cour­ag­ing. We are flex­i­ble to make ev­ery­thing con­ve­nient to In­dia,” he said. This state­ment of Moshe Ya’alon is very en­cour­ag­ing and will boost the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween In­dia and Is­rael to greater heights spe­cially with the planned visit of Prime Min­is­ter Modi to Is­rael shortly.

Is­raeli de­fence com­pany con­trac­tor Elta has be­come the first firm that will make manda­tory in­vest­ments in In­dia un­der the new off­set clause that has been made stan­dard for all con­tracts worth 300 crore or more (as per the old pol­icy). Bag­ging a deal worth 833 crore for medium power radars for the IAF, Elta in­vested 30 per cent of the amount, about 250 crore, back into In­dian in­dus­try in De­cem­ber 2006.

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