Israeli, Indian Defense Firms Sign Billion Dollar Cooperation Agreement

The Associated Press

TEL AVIV – Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. signed a cooperation agreement with India’s Reliance Defense Systems Ltd. on Tuesday that will encompass future deals worth $10 billion, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The companies made the announcement at the 2016 Defexpo exhibition in the Indian state of Goa. This year, a record 28 booths were set up at the expo by Israeli defense companies as a part of the Defense Ministry’s Defense Exports Branch.

The agreement covers cooperation in the production, development, and supply of air defense systems, air-to-air missiles, and surveillance balloons, Rafael said.

The ceremony was attended by Israel’s Ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon, and Rafael Director-General Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Har-Even.

Har-Even said the deal is “part of our global strategy for cooperation in general and in India, specifically. This cooperation will help us give the Indian Defense Ministry its added value when it comes to dealing with the goals and challenges it faces.”

“India is a country with tremendous capabilities. Israel’s large presence at Defexpo reflects our desire to strengthen ties with Indian companies and increase local production of military technologies,” Brigadier General (Ret.) Mishel Ben Baruch, head of SIBAT, the ministry’s department that regulates international cooperation, said.

Meanwhile, Indian Air Force chief Arup Raha arrived in Israel on a four-day “goodwill visit” as part of wide-ranging talks with Israeli defense officials to explore possibilities of mutual cooperation, the NDTV news site reported on Wednesday.

Raha met with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv.

“This visit is a step towards strengthening cooperation between the countries,” the IDF Spokesman’s Unit said.

“The visit will help boost robust bilateral military ties between the two countries. Israel attaches immense importance to its defense cooperation with India and we are working together to enhance ongoing collaboration in various areas,” a media adviser to the defense ministry said.


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