Israel and India will jointly build an integrated anti-missile system to be deployed against Chinese nuclear and conventional missiles, Defense News reported on Thursday.
The defense technology co-operation comes as Israel and India deepen ties in many areas, particularly in agricultural technology, allowing India to apply Israel’s irrigation and desert-fighting techniques to the vast Indian sub-continent.
Defense News cited a scientist with the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at the Defexpo conference as saying that the new program has been approved by the Indian Defense Ministry, and the contract to formalize the joint venture is expected to be signed in the next six months.
Rafael and Israel Aircraft Industries will partner with DRDO and India’s state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), the report said.
Defense News cited a Rafael executive said at Defexpo as saying, “The proposed missile defense program will be a network of air defense systems and radars from India and Israel.”
The system will integrate India’s Prithvi air defense system, which will be ready for next year, with a mobile detection radar being built by BEL and IAI.
The Rafael executive added that the plan contemplates additional missile systems, both short and medium range, and Rafael has offered to build a dedicated C4I system for missile defense threats, which India does not yet have.
India is the largest customer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest military partner of India after Russia. As of 2009, the military business between the two nations was worth around $9 billion, up from just $200 million in 2001.