India, Israel to deepen military cooperation with focus on future tech | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India, Israel to deepen military cooperation with focus on future tech

Jun 02, 2022 06:25 PM IST

India and Israel reviewed the existing military-to-military activities and acknowledged that both the countries share similar and common challenges, including border security and fighting terrorism.

NEW DELHI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Gantz on Thursday held talks with focus on deepening military cooperation especially in the areas on research and development in future technologies and co-production of weapons and systems, the defence ministry said.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Gantz held talks in New Delhi on Thursday and adopted the ‘India-Israel Vision on Defence Cooperation’ (ANI/ PIB)
Defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Gantz held talks in New Delhi on Thursday and adopted the ‘India-Israel Vision on Defence Cooperation’ (ANI/ PIB)

The two sides adopted the ‘India-Israel Vision on Defence Cooperation’ to further strengthen the existing framework of the bilateral defence cooperation architecture, the ministry said in a statement.

“Glad that both the countries adopted a ‘Vision Statement’ that will pave the way for defence cooperation in future. There is a broad consensus between both the countries on further strengthening the bilateral strategic and defence cooperation,” Singh wrote on Twitter.

The talks came at a time when the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis has exposed India’s overwhelming dependence on imported weaponry, especially from Russia, and India’s military and strategic planners are grappling with issues such as how the war could affect the country’s military’s readiness, alternatives for sourcing military hardware and speeding up the indigenisation drive to become self-reliant.

A wide range of issues concerning bilateral, regional and defence industrial cooperation were discussed, and the two ministers reviewed the existing military-to-military activities which have increased despite the Covid-19 challenges, the ministry said.

“Both ministers acknowledged mutual security challenges and their convergences on a number of strategic and defence issues. They expressed commitment to work together to enhance cooperation in all forums,” it added.

According to a release issued by the Israeli side, the two ministers also discussed a cooperation agreement signed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel’s Directorate for Defense R&D, which will enable the expansion of bilateral technological collaboration.

It added that the ministers discussed building partnerships within the government-to-government framework, military training, and technological cooperation with a focus on unmanned aerial vehicles and defensive capabilities.

Gantz said, “India and Israel share similar and common challenges, including border security and fighting terrorism. By working together, we may increase our capabilities and ensure the security and economic interests of both countries.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of the official diplomatic ties between India and Israel.

The India-Israel relationship has grown significantly over the last 30 years especially in the field of missiles, radars, electronic warfare systems and other weapons and equipment, said Air Vice Marshal Anil Golani (retd), additional director, Centre for Airpower Studies.

“Bilateral cooperation is heading in the right direction at a time when India is looking at co-development and co- production of modern weapons to achieve the goal of Atmanirbharta (self-reliance), and also looking at exporting military hardware to other countries,” he said.

Last September, the Indian Air Force inducted a medium-range surface-to-air-missile (MRSAM) system capable of knocking out aerial threats such as enemy fighter jets, missiles, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles at a range of 70 km. India and Israel have jointly developed the MRSAM or the Barak 8 air defence system.

India and Israel have inked separate deals worth around $3 billion over the last four to five years for advanced surface-to-air missile systems for the three services.

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