Defense, Homeland Security,Tenders and Political News
Friday, 22 May 2015
ISRAEL AND INDIA CLOSE TO SIGNING MAJOR DEFENSE COOPERATION CONTRACT
India is close to finalizing another large military project with Israel, The Times of India reported. The two countries have agreed to jointly develop a medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) system for the Indian Army to replace Russian-made Kvadrat and OSA-AKM air defense systems bought between 1970 and 1980.
The project will be a joint effort between The Defence Research and Development Organization, an agency of the Republic of India, and Israeli Aerospace Industries. Defence PSU Bharat Dynamic, a state owned company, will undertake bulk production of the systems in India, along with privately owned Tata Power SED and Larsen & Toubro.
Israel is the third largest defense supplier to India, behind America and Rssia, signing deals worth around $10 billion over the last 15 years, which range from spy and armed drones to sophisticated missile and radar systems. India is, in fact, the largest buyer of Israeli defense technology. In September, India agreed to buy 262 Israeli-made Barak 1 surface-to-air missiles for its navy for $144 million. In October, they signed another deal for anti-tank guided missiles , rejecting a rival US offer. They also purchased 8,356 Spike missiles and 321 launchers from Israel for $525 million.
In 2009, India and Israel agreed to jointly make the air version of MRSAM, but it is still under development despite a planned delivery time of 2013-14 because of unspecified technical snags in the initial tests of the prototype. First delivery is now expected by 2017.
Israel and India established diplomatic relations in 1992, and later that year, Israel rushed emergency supplies to them during the Kargil Conflict. Israel discreetly aided India with ordnance supply and materials such as unmanned aerial vehicles, laser-guided bombs, and satellite imagery.
In a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York in 2014, Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly invited India to participate in a joint effort on cyber-defense, a project that will aim to be a link between civilian and military authorities in both countries.
Despite such cooperation, relations are strained due to India’s dependence on Iranian oil and a significant Muslim population. There are 180 million Muslims in India, 15% of the population, making it the second largest religion in the worlds largest democracy.