India To Sign Defence Deal With Israel Amid Rising Tensions With China

India is looking to secure a defence deal with Israel as the border dispute with China continues. India is contemplating to purchase emergency military equipment from key allies including Israel, France, Russia and the US. 

India and Israel have vowed to strengthen military cooperation. The announcement to acquire vital military equipment comes in the midst of India’s border row with China.

Earlier, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Gantz. The strengthening of bilateral defence ties was the focus of the conversation as India tries to secure a deal with Israel for acquiring critical defence equipment.

Singh updated Gantz on the situation along the contested Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, where Indian and China have lately failed to make a breakthrough in reducing border tensions despite intense negotiations at the military and diplomatic levels.

According to the defence ministry statement, both ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress of strategic cooperation between the two countries and discussed possibilities of further boosting defence engagements.

Singh also sought greater participation of Israeli defence companies in the defence manufacturing sector under the new liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) regime, the statement said.

India is looking at sourcing the Firefly loitering ammunition, Spike anti-tank guided missiles, Spice guidance kits that can be mounted on standard bombs to convert them into smart weapons and an operational surface-to-air missile system.

As reported by EurAsian Times earlier, the border conflict with China has forced India to speed up the purchase of military hardware from the United States, Russia, France. Air Marshal KK Nohwar (retd), director-general, Centre for Air Power Studies said that Israel has been a reliable military partner and has stood by India.

In early July, the defence ministry approved the purchase of weapons and ammunition worth Rs 38,900 crore. The cost of military hardware cleared for purchase from the domestic industry is pegged at Rs 31,130 crore and the orders are expected to give a push to PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan