Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jerusalem, December 24
Looking at the growing needs of India in terms of security and its war-fighting capabilities, Israel, New Delhi’s second-largest arms supplier after Russia, is offering a clutch of new generation of missiles, UAVs, air-defence mechanisms, all-weather-day-night capability radars and avionics.
It has been exactly 20 years since India and Israel established relations in 1992 - following the collapse of the USSR in 1991 triggering a global recalibration of diplomatic ties.
During the Cold War, Israel was firmly in the US camp while India was in the USSR stable.
The annual non-defence trade stands at $5 billion (approx Rs 22,500 crore) largely in gem-stone polishing and agriculture with a Indo-Israel joint venture in agriculture having been set up at Karnal, Haryana.
The two countries have been collaborating on defence equipment and, in the past decade, defence sales to India have surpassed $10 billion (approx Rs 55,000 crore).
Both sides keep exact figures on defence sales a secret. In India, unlike the public announcements about ties with Russia, ties with Israel are not discussed in public by the establishment.
Top military delegations of both sides met in New Delhi in the first week of December. One of the key things on offer is what Israel refers to by a rather dramatic Biblical name, ‘David’s Sling’. It is an air defence missile in the short-range - 250 km - class.
Looking at the threat from Iran, Israel is in the final stages of developing the Arrow-3 missile. State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the Boeing of the US have developed this as the main line of defence to intercept incoming long-range ballistic missiles at an altitude of 100 km. India, on its own, is looking to hit the 120km ceiling in January.
Israel, which as a policy does not open up on military ties with other nations, invited a small group of Indian journalists to get a first-hand feel of what all it is offering.
In 2009, the Jewish majority state briefly overtook Russia, India's largest and the oldest defence supplier.
Israel has developed a specialised loitering guided missile that can stay in air, keep hovering over an area and then be guided from ground-based controllers to hit targets like airbases, warships and ammunition dumps with pinpoint accuracy. Officials at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said that “it can be launched from land, sea and air”.
The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) enables visibility in day as well as night, under cloudy conditions and even under dense foliage. Israel has the technology while India is looking to develop the same.

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