Business / Industry Sectors
India among top buyers of Israel’s 40% weapon exports to Asia
Surface-to-air and anti-tank guided missile systems will be part of $3bn Indo-Israel deals

India as the second-largest single market is among top buyers of Israel’s 40 percent of annual weapon exports to Asia, while the Jewish state is considered among the top 10 military exporters in the world, according to Yossi Melman, a security commentator and co-author of Spies Against Armageddon.

With $7.4 billion weapon sales in 2012, the figures will rise in 2016, the paper quoted Israel defence officials as saying. In his latest report to The Jerusalem Post newspaper, Melman wrote that India was close to concluding three major deals, worth around $3 billion,with Israelahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s planned visit to the Middle Easten nation.

“These (deals) include joint development of a medium-range surface-to-air missile system for the Indian Army; the acquisition of 164 Litening-4 laser-designation pods for the Indian Air Force fighters such as the Soviet-built Sukhoi Su-30 and the Anglo-French Jaguar, as well as 250 advanced Spice precision stand-off bombs, capable of taking out fortified ‘enemy’ underground command centres, and 321 Spike anti-tank guided missile systems and 8,356 missiles,” it said.

After his meeting with Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Poland’s Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz also confirmed a $1billion long-delayed deal to buy advanced drones for the Polish Army.The General Atomics, and American defence giant and manufacturer of the Predator drone, had also set its eyes on the lucrative contract.

After secret talks, it was agreed that the US administration would back off and, in return, Israel would not pursue its campaign to sell an anti-missile defence system to Warsaw. The Israeli system is based on technology used in the Iron Dome, for short-range missiles, and David’s Sling, which can intercept rockets and cruise missiles ? complementary systems that were developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Raytheon in the US.

The deal is that the Polish government, instead, will procure the US Patriot anti- missile system, built by Raytheon, or Lockheed Martin’s Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS). The contract is estimated to be worth $4 billion, including maintenance and overhaul. The three-way discussions between Polish government, the US and Israeli authorities leave the competing French defence industry completely out in the cold.

Israeli’s Elbit company - if the deal indeed materializes – will supply at least 20 drone systems of its Hermes 450 and Hermes 900 models with ground stations and additional equipment. Poland – considered one of Israel’s best friends in the EU and the two have very close military and intelligence cooperation – will manufacture the secret encryption and communication systems.

Melman, the commentator, pointed out that security cooperation has a good chance to improve, as the right-wing governments in Warsaw and Jerusalem have common ideological views. “It is a historic irony that such a development is being led by a Polish minister who, at least in the past, said he believed in an international Jewish conspiracy,” he said.


Source: Daily Times

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