Hit by heavy time over-runs and technical hitches in the production of a key surveillance system designed to give early warning on incoming missiles, India has sought Israeli expertise.
Launched three years ago, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) surveillance project christened 'Divya Drishti' was to become operational this year, but is running heavily behind schedule and now Israeli expertise is being sought for its completion.
Billed to cost Rs 570 crores, the ground-based over- horizon surveillance system will give the country capability to detect targets in space and close to ground in two angles almost 800 km away and in another angle almost 450 km away.
Elbit system of Israel has now joined forces with the DRDO's Hyderabad-based Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DRDL), Electronic Coporation of India and Tata Power Company Limited to develop the futuristic system.
This is the second major project on which the DRDO has sought foreign collaboration for development, giving up its earlier insistence on 'go -lone policy'.
Earlier this year, DRDO floated international tenders for collaboration on development of its Kaveri aero-engine designed to power the Light Combat Aircraft. American aero-engine major Pratt and Whitney and French Snecma are competing for the tenders.