Israeli Air Force Chief In India, Looks To Expand Ties With IAF

India and Israel continue
to silently expand their already expansive ties in the fields of
defence and homeland security, at a time when Tel Aviv is threatening
military action to quell Iran’s nuclear ambitions despite New Delhi
seeking a diplomatic resolution.

Israeli Air Force
commander-in-chief, Major-General Ido Nehushtan, is the latest in the
series of high-level visits to India, which are kept under the radar due
to political sensitivities, to further bolster the “bilateral strategic
partnership”.

This comes close after Israeli minister of
public safety Yitzhak Aharonovitch held wide-ranging discussions with
home minister P Chidambaram on ways to expand ongoing cooperation in
counter-terrorism and intelligence-sharing during his low-profile visit
to New Delhi. Maj-Gen Nehushtan, on his part, discussed military
cooperation with IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne on Monday, and
is slated to meet his naval and army counterparts and other MoD
officials on Tuesday.

Interestingly, as recently reported by
TOI, India is all set to order another two advanced Israeli Phalcon
AWACS (airborne warning and control systems), capable of detecting
hostile aircraft, cruise missiles and other incoming aerial threats far
before ground-based radars, at a cost of over $800 million.

Israel is the second-largest defence supplier to India, next only to
Russia. From Heron and Searcher UAVs, Harpy and Harop “killer” drones
to Barak anti-missile defence systems and Green Pine radars, Python and
Derby air-to-air missiles, Israel notches up military sales to India
roughly worth $1 billion every year.