Israel-India Military and Civil Trade Ties Skyrocket
Israeli President Ezer Weizman made a historic visit to India in early January 1997 to boost trade and to bolster the strategic military relationship between the two countries. The first Israeli head of state to visit India, Weizman met with Indian President Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, Vice President K.R. Narayanan and Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda.
In what is to be the first ever weapons deal between the two countries, India is negotiating the puchase of Barak-1 vertically-launched surface-to-air (SAM) missiles from Israel. The Barak-1 has the ability to intercept anti-ship cruise missiles such as the Harpoon.
The Indian Navy wants the Barak-1 to counter Pakistan�s three recently obtained P3-C II Orion maritime strike aircraft and 27 Harpoon sea-skimming anti-ship missiles from the United States.
The Barak-1, in operation by the Israeli, Chilean and Singapore navies, is a joint product of the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and RAFAEL, the Israel Armament Development Authority.
Traveling at Mach 1.7, it can intercept targets at a distance of 10 km. The lightweight missile�s modular launch system fits onto existing warships.
Israel also offered its advanced maritime surveillance radar to the Indian Navy. With a detection range of 30 nautical miles � 80 nautical miles for small ships � the ELM-2022A radar can be fitted onto airborne platforms and can track up to 100 targets at a time.
The proposal to share maritime surveillance radar follows after India signed a $10 million contract for the purchase of two 82-foot Super Dvorah MK II patrol craft in late December. The Super Dvorah, built by IAI�s Ramta division, is designed for round-the-clock coastal surveillance and reconnaissance, rescue operations and transport of commando forces.
India is also interested in the purchase of electronic counter measure systems, radars, command and communication systems from Israeli defense companies, according to senior Israeli defense officials.
Last year, India purchased 32 �Searcher� Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Electronic Support Measure sensors and an Air Combat Manouevering Instrumentation simulator system.