Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu have supported their defense ministries to create a reasonable, tenable and long-term cooperation in defense between their private and public sectors. The I4F – India Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund – was launched last year.
Defense companies of Israel such as Elbit Systems, Aeronautics Limited, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Limited and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Limited have engaged in joint ventures with private companies in India. These companies manufacture radars, avionics, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and other military equipment.
Indian and Israeli companies under the joint venture agreement, have set up manufacturing plants to work on the development of strategic applications and also the transfer of military technologies.
Israel signed a $2 billion deal with India to supply advanced missile defense systems in 2017. This happens to be the biggest deal that Israel’s defense industries have ever signed. The government of India wishes for Israel to open more and more defense companies here and Israel has taken into account this opportunity and is extremely happy to work with India.
Israel is catering to all of India’s military needs as Israel is good at developing and producing missile, unmanned surveillance and radar systems, navigation and combat systems. According to Thailand based Asia-Pacific defense expert, “Israeli military technologies match well with India’s strategic needs.”
And this happens to be the reason why both the countries see themselves as strategic and military partners.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an autonomous global security institute. According to their estimates, 49 percent of the Israeli’s arms exports that took place between 2013 and 2017 have been accounted for by India.
India established full-fledged diplomatic relations with Israel only after the Cold War ended. Israel also provided India with intelligence inputs and ammunition and surveillance drones during the Kargil War that took place in 1999.
As of now, Israel is not the only option India has when it comes to arms industries. India happens to be the most
important export market for Russian arms and India has also been looking at the US as an arms supplier since a decade ago. But military equipment of Israel is extremely competitive in the world market.
Defense expert says, “Israel doesn’t make fighter aircraft or submarines or surface combatants as does Russia. Israel makes the systems – their products are quite niche and the world’s best. Israeli systems can be integrated in Russian or US platforms. Israel is an experienced defense exporter and exports products all over the world.”