India-Israel $2bn weapons deal is a balancing act

India will buy nearly $2 billion worth of weapons technology from Israel in a ‘mega’ missile agreement that’s being described as the ‘largest defence contract’ ever signed in Israel’s defence industries ‘ history’. Under the deal the state-owned Israeli firm Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will provide India with an advanced defence system of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers, communications technology and a naval defence system including long-range surface-to-air missiles for its first aircraft carrier to be commissioned by 2020. This collaboration of Israel’s IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) mulls joint production in India with hundred per cent transfer of technology in line with Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign involving private partners like Tata defence and L&T manufacturing components for these projects.

India – the world’s largest defence importer— is updating its Soviet-era military hardware to build up defence preparedness against regional rivals China and Pakistan. After coming to power in 2014, Modi government has inked several big-ticket defence deals like $10 Bn Rafale deal with France, $5 Bn deal for S-400 triumpf missile defence system and $4 Bn for Battle tank with Russia, $10 Bn with USA for various aircrafts and technology, and $12 Bn deal with Sweden for Single engine multipurpose supersonic air craft and various ingenious defence items. For updating military hardware New Delhi is increasingly turning away from traditional ally Russia and looking to Israel, a top weapons exporter that has state-of – the-art technology. Buying world class advanced defence equipments are really a good sign, but getting technical know-how to make them in India to generate local jobs will be icing on the cake.

Transaction is just not a one-way traffic as India looks to export space technology and satellites worth $1.5 Bn to Israel. Defence apart, Israel is helping India in agriculture, oceanic water purification, infrastructure and smart cities. The missile deal has created unnecessary furore in Pakistan which must note that India considers China, not Pakistan, as main threat. India is endeavouring to match and deter China by equipping self for any eventuality. So weapon procurement should not bother Pakistan. India must do all it can to secure its borders. Military power is a must for peace and defence as one may speak softly but must carry a big stick. Becoming better than Pakistan in the process is just a by product. India has to modernize its defence very rapidly through import, manufacture and this is just the beginning.

The country of $1.2 billions that is hemmed by hostile neighbours must procure the best in class weapon system without getting distracted by any hue and cry. Israeli weapon systems being quite superior the deal is good and money will be well spent. For thousands of years in history India flourished with wealth, technologies, education, weaponry, and missiles but has never invaded a foreign land nor begun a war, so arms purchase for the its defence should bother none. The world can live fearlessly as all these spend will make India strong and provide safety to investments by keeping irritants at bay.

India maintains excellent relationship with all the countries including even rival blocks like Israel, Saudi Arabia and UAE on one side and Iran on the other; Israel on one hand and Palestine on the other. It is amazing that both sides have equal respect and love for Modi’s charm. Saudi Arabia has honoured him with the highest civilian award, UAE prince shows lots of respects, Iran equally loves India, and both Israel and Palestine have high respects for Modi. Future wars will be fought by computers, intelligence, space, fifth generation aircrafts and strong missile defence systems added with supersonic radar evading attack missiles. India’s defence ecosystem is treading nicely along that path hand-in-hand with Israel, US, Russia and France through ‘make in India’ projects.

Indians have utmost respect, empathy and affinity with the people of Israel. India and Israel are all weather platinum brothers! Indo Israel cooperation in defence and space augurs well for Indian subcontinent by providing much needed balance.







Source:- New Delhi Times

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