India and Israel will strengthen defense ties

India and Israel will strengthen defense ties
Posted on 03-06-2022

India and Israel will strengthen defense ties

In The News:

  • India and Israel have signed a "vision Statement" to strengthen their long-standing defense cooperation.
  • This agreement was reached during a meeting between Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister, and his Israeli counterpart.

Today's Article:

  • India-Israel Bilateral Relation
  • News Summary

In Focus: India-Israel Bilateral Relation

Historical Background

  • Within a matter of months, both countries were independent from the UK.
  • They went in opposite directions for almost four decades.
    • India, as leader of the NAM, maintained close relationships with the Arab world (and the Soviet Union)
    • Israel has maintained close ties to the US and Western Europe.
  • These are the two most famous foreign policy decisions made by India at Independence in relation to Israel
    • Participation of India in the UN Special Committee on Palestine
    • Its decision to recognize Israel as a state.
      • India had recognized Israel on September 17, 1950.
      • On January 29, 1992, the two countries established full-fledged diplomatic relations.

Economic and Commercial Relations

  • The 1992 merchandise trade was worth US$ 200 millions, mainly diamonds. However, it diversified and surpassed US$ 200 billion in 1992. US$ 4.14 Billion (excluding defense) in the April 2020-February 2021 period .
    • India has a favorable balance in trade.
  • India is Israel's third largest trade partner in Asia, and seventh globally.
  • Although bilateral trade is dominated by chemicals and diamonds, there has been an increase in trade over the past few years in other areas.
    • Electronic machinery and high-tech items; communications systems; medical devices, etc.
    • India remains a 'focus country for the Israeli Government's increased trading efforts.
  • As of September 2019, the cumulative FDI from India was approximately US$ 118 millions.
    • Between April 2000 and March 2021, Israel's direct foreign direct investment into India was estimated at US$ 229.76 million.


  • Three-year action plans are used to formalize agricultural cooperation between the sides.
    • Both sides are currently implementing phase 5 of the joint action plans (2021-23).
    • The Fourth Action Plan (2018-202020) was designed to increase farmers' productivity as well as optimize water use efficiency.
  • In twelve Indian states, there are twenty-nine Centers of Excellence for Horticulture.

Water Technologies

  • In November 2016, an MOU was signed on Water Resources Management and Development Cooperation. This formalized the sector's ongoing cooperation.
  • Both sides signed MoUs during the July 2017 visit of PM Modi in Israel
    • National Campaign for Water Conservation in India
    • With UP Government for Reforms of UP Jal Nigam.
  • Several desalination plants have been built in India by the Israeli company IDE.
    • In 2013, IDE in Nemelli, Tamilnadu, was commissioned to set up a 100 MLD per-day desalination plant.
  • India is now a major market for Israeli drip irrigation products and technologies.

Defence & Security

  • Regular exchanges take place between the armed forces.
    • Three Indian naval vessels from the Western Fleet visited Haifa as part of their regular goodwill visits to Indian ships.
    • In September 2018, INS Tarangini (a naval training ship) made a port stop in Haifa.
  • Israel is one of the top four arms suppliers to India (alongside Russia, France and the USA) with annual military sales in excess of $1 billion.
    • Indian armed forces have acquired a large number of Israeli weapon systems.
      • Phalcon AWACS (airborne detection and control systems) and Heron
      • Harop and Searcher-II drones
      • Barak anti-missile defense systems and Spyder quick response anti-aircraft missile system.
    • India is currently finalizing "Project Cheetah" with Israel's support to arm Heron drones using laser-guided bombs.

Collaboration in S&T and Space

  • The Joint Committee on S&T oversees India-Israeli cooperation in S&T. It was established under the 1993 S&T Cooperation Agreement.
  • A MoU was signed during the July 2017 visit of PM Modi. India-Israel Industrial R&D and Innovation Fund. (i4F). Signed.
    • The MoU has a 5 year term and a contribution of US$20 million each. It is an important part of jointly undertaking R&D projects.
  • India and Israel signed an Agreement for cooperation in the field of medicine and health on December 21, 2020.

Education and Culture

  • Relations between the two peoples date back more than two millennia.
    • India has been welcoming Jews for many centuries. Their contribution has enrich Indian culture.
  • To facilitate cultural exchanges, India and Israel signed the Cultural Exchange Programme (for 2020-223) in August 2020.
  • Nearly 1200 Indian students are studying in Israel, mainly at the doctoral or post-doctoral level.
    • Israel offers post-doctoral scholarships for students from India since 2012.
    • India provides scholarships for Israeli students each year through ICCR to help them study in India.

News Summary

  • To strengthen the mutual defense relationship, the Indian Defence Minister and the Defence Minister of Israel exchanged a Letter of Intent'. They also adopted a Vision Statement'.

Key Highlights

  • Joint declaration
    • Both Ministers signed a joint declaration to mark 30 years of Israel-India relations.
    • Both countries reiterated their commitment to strengthening defense ties in the declaration.
  • India-Israel Vision on Defence Cooperation was adopted
    • Both sides agreed to strengthen the Indo-Israeli defense cooperation architecture.
  • A Letter of Intent was exchanged
    • Also, a Letter of Intent was exchanged on the enhancement of cooperation in the area of futuristic defense technologies.
    • The cooperation between the countries would be in accordance with Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India vision.

Comprehensive 10-year roadmap

  • India and Israel agreed to create a task force in October 2021 to develop a 10-year comprehensive roadmap.
  • This document was created to help identify new areas for cooperation in order to improve bilateral defense cooperation.
  • This roadmap was approved at the 15th India/Israel Joint Working Group (JWG), meeting on bilateral defense cooperation, held in October 2021.
    • The JWG, which is the highest body of defence cooperation between the two countries, reviews and guides all aspects of bilateral defense cooperation.

Major arms supplier

  • Israel is one of India's most trusted defense partners, supplying a wide range of high-end defense equipment.
  • The standoff in eastern Ladakh with China meant that the Army had leased four HeronTP Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAVs to Israel Aircraft Industries last year. These UAVs have since been inducted.
  • There are several joint projects between the two countries, including the Long-Range Surface to Air Missile Barak-8 for Indian Navy warships.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited signed a MoU in April 2022 with IAI to convert six Boeing-767 passenger aircraft into mid-air refuelling planes in India for the Indian Air Force.
Thank You