Indo-Israel a mutually beneficial relationship

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by LETHALFORCE, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.upiasia.com/Security/2009/02/27/israels_military_supplies_to_india/3118/



    Israel's military supplies to India
    By Hari Sud

    Toronto, ON, Canada, — India’s main supplier of advanced military hardware is Israel. In the 1990s India took a major decision to procure arms from Israel after its much-touted Defense Research and Development Organization failed to develop any high-end weapons systems.

    To keep abreast of its neighbors, from 1965 till 1997 India purchased weapons from the Soviet Union, and later Russia – the preferred choice for the last 40 years as its weapons were cheap, reliable, rugged and direct copies of advanced weapons in the West. Almost 70 percent of India’s weapons are of Russian origin.

    The fall of the Soviet Union halted its secret development and sales of weapons, thereby letting the West develop countermeasures.

    Short of cash, the new Russian Federation from 1990 to 2001 sold its trade secrets to anybody who wished to buy them. In short, India lost its advantage with Russian hardware, as China bought everything that India already had. Also, countermeasures developed by the West for Russian hardware became available to Pakistan. In short, India was at a disadvantage on both fronts.

    A lot of technology that India wanted from the West was unavailable because the West viewed India and the Soviet Union as allies, due to the Cold War attitude prevalent in Washington. Israel stepped in to fill the breach, as it had enough influence to change U.S. policy on this issue. It was a win-win situation for Israel and India.

    India negotiated its first large-scale contract with Israel in 1997 for the Barak-1 weapons system. This was meant to knock down Pakistan’s Harpoon anti-ship missiles, supplied by the United States. Since its initial supply of six Barak systems, eight more have been added and negotiations on a multi-billion-dollar Barak-2 system is in progress.

    Prior to the contract, India’s defense scientist and former President Abdul Kalam paid a number of visits to Israel to get help in missile development. Later India tested its Prithvi and Agni missile systems to counter Chinese and Pakistani moves.

    During the Kargil War in 1999, India received from Israel unmanned aerial vehicles, laser-guided bombs and other hardware to knock out Pakistani hilltop bunkers. Israel’s support helped India appreciate its sophisticated electronics and weapons systems.

    Russia’s former President Vladimir Putin, noting India’s declining interest in Russian weaponry, made offers to sell it more sophisticated weapons like T-90 tanks, advanced destroyers, an aircraft carrier and upgrades to existing air force hardware. India accepted the offers, but Israel had already secured a foothold in India’s lucrative military hardware market.

    End-user agreements between the United States and Israel limited the transfer to India of any U.S.-developed or assisted military hardware – but Israeli political interests in Washington made short work of all U.S. objections.

    Showing great interest in the Indian market, Israel in 2002 transferred the highly sophisticated Green Pine Radar to India, despite U.S. objections. Today this radar is a key component of India’s ballistic missile defense tracking system.

    The United States, realizing that Israel will find ways to sell India its military technology, have now folded up their objections. It took them more than 50 years to throw out their Cold War-era attitude; now they are bidding for a US$10-billion Indian fighter contract.

    In the last 10 years India’s military imports from Israel have included:

    • Barak -1 anti-ship missile system

    • Unmanned aerial vehicles of various types

    • Laser-guided bombs

    • Technology for ballistic missile systems

    • Green Pine radar

    • AWACS

    • Spyder surface-to-air missile system

    • Aerostat radars

    • Service contract to upgrade MIG fighter aircraft

    • Electronic countermeasures and air-battle support electronics

    The total contract value of these and other purchases is close to US$9 billion. This is a huge amount given that India and Israel established diplomatic and trade relations only in 1992. The two countries’ intelligence agencies have had contacts for much longer, however.

    Military contracts under negotiation between India and Israel include the development of Barak -2, worth US$2.5 billion; additional AWACS at $1.8 billion; UAVs worth $500 million; the Arrow anti-missile system at $4 billion; and miscellaneous electronics worth $2 billion.

    Why did India turn to foreign weapons suppliers? Fifty years ago former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in establishing the Defense Research and Development Organization, envisioned 80 percent self-sufficiency in arms by the turn of the century. That dream never came true.

    The DRDO had difficulty marrying high concepts with sound engineering. Thus many major systems on the drawing board did not become potent weapons. Although it had a staff of 30,000, 51 laboratories and a US$2.5-billion budget, the organization operated under technical and critical-component constraints for the last 50 years. It has spent more than US$50 billion and produced very little.

    The army has had many problems with the INSAS rifle developed by the organization, and nobody wants the main battle tank it developed. Its many tactical missiles have never met their defined parameters, and the Kaveri engine for light combat aircraft has been under development for three decades.

    The only successes it can claim are the Prithvi, Agni and Brahmos missiles, some light combat aircraft and the multi-barrel Pinaka artillery system. However, it had to import the highly accurate Russian Smerch system to supplement the underpowered Pinaka.

    The DRDO’s worst failure has been its inability to reverse engineer some of its imported weapons systems. Even Pakistan with its low technology has successfully reverse engineered military hardware. China reverse engineered the highly sophisticated Russian SU-27 fighter jet.

    Russia has now fallen behind as a military supplier to India, although it continues to provide some systems. The renegotiation of already negotiated deals between the two countries has complicated the partnership.

    For example, a deal on the Russian aircraft carrier Gorshkov is being renegotiated. The Russians have also refused to transfer technology to manufacture the T-90 tank gun, although it was part of the contract. The supply of a nuclear submarine has fallen behind by several years. Added to this, the quality of Russian hardware and technology is suspect.

    The Russians have reopened several of their supply contracts and are exploiting their spare parts supply position to extract more money. All of this is not sitting well with the Indians, who may over the next two decades dump them as important suppliers.

    Thus in the past 10 years Israel, and now the United States, are coming on board to supply India with military hardware. There are distinct differences in the manufacturing philosophies of Russia and the United States. While Russian hardware is rugged, U.S. hardware is like a finely tuned sports car; although buyers like its performance it is three times more expensive to maintain than the Russian. Most underdeveloped countries still prefer Russian hardware.

    In the end, it is good that Israel stepped in to fill the technology gap India was forced into. Now the Indian military has a distinct advantage over its adversaries.

    --

    (Hari Sud is a retired vice president of C-I-L Inc., a former investment strategies analyst and international relations manager. A graduate of Punjab University and the University of Missouri, he has lived in Canada for the past 34 years. ©Copyright Hari Sud.)
     
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  3. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    The Glue that Binds India and Israel

    At first glance India and Israel appear to have little in common.

    India is one of the world’s most populous nations, while there are just seven million Israelis. Despite its impressive economic performance in recent years, India is still very much a part of the developing world, while Israel has already joined the elite bloc of developed countries. Many of India’s key trading partners are in Asia while Israel focuses on Europe. Several hundred languages are spoken in India, while most Israelis make do with Hebrew and Arabic.

    On the other hand both nations were created by the British, gaining independence within a few months of one another. They have both suffered from terrorism and warfare with their neighbors ever since, and territorial disputes endure. New Delhi and Jerusalem argue they are under a clear and ever-present threat from Islamist extremists.

    Today they are nuclear powers, have thriving democracies and are close allies of the United States.

    Diplomatically, the two nations have had a brief relationship, and while they are still somewhat cautious in dealing with one another, the countries realize they have much to gain by remaining partners.

    The problems the two share came into sharp relief in late 2008 and January 2009. More than 170 people were killed and some 300 wounded in Mumbai last November, in a carefully coordinated attack that rocked India.

    While it has taken some time for Pakistan to admit its citizens were among the perpetrators, Islamabad has now taken steps to bring the alleged masterminds to justice.

    In the face of thousands of rocket attacks over a period of eight years, Israel decided to launch its highly controversial military operation in Gaza just weeks after the Mumbai atrocity. While the world condemned Israel’s tactics, the leading lights of the international community defended Israel’s right to defend itself and blamed the Islamic Hamas movement for igniting the violence.

    “We are two countries making up for lost time,” says Indian’s new ambassador to Israel, Navtej Singh Sarna. “Although we started late, I think the relationship has moved by leaps and bounds in almost every aspect.”

    The partnership was only formalized in 1992 when diplomatic ties were established.

    On a commercial level the relations can be monitored by a look at statistical data. Between 2000 and 2004, bilateral trade more than doubled from $996 million to $2.142 billion. During that period the trade balance shifted in favor of India.

    Back in July 2008, Israel’s man in New Delhi, Mark Sofer, was talking up a free-trade agreement, which he said could only further enhance bilateral trade, which surpassed $4b. in 2008. High-tech, genomics, nanotechnology and agriculture, in particular water technology, account for an increasingly large percentage of the figures.

    The countries are also embarking on a major project – the so-called Med Stream. The two states have teamed up with Turkey to conduct a feasibility study into constructing an oil pipeline from Turkey to the Red Sea at the southern tip of Israel. From there Indian supertankers would ship home Russian oil. There is talk of the project being completed by 2011.

    What is far more significant is the New Delhi-Jerusalem connection that is rarely made public – the military relationship. This, perhaps more than any other element of the friendship, is arguably out of necessity and with a common enemy in mind.

    There were reports in September 2008 that the commander of the ground forces of the Israeli military, Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi, visited the contested Kashmir region of India. At the time, the Indian government would neither confirm nor deny the visit took place.

    Mizrahi is understood to have met with the chiefs of the Indian army, navy and air force and mooted the possibility of joint military exercises. The Israel Defense Forces would not comment on the visit.

    Israel’s set of elite military industries sells military hardware to the Indians, and Israeli radar is understood to be eavesdropping on Pakistan from vantage points in Indian Kashmir.

    Meanwhile, India has launched at least one Israeli spy satellite, the TecSar, from its SHAR launch site near Chennai, which reportedly keeps careful watch on events in Iran. TecSar was developed by Elta Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries and was sent into space on January 21, 2008.

    India and Israel speak little if at all about their military cooperation. Contacted by The Media Line, the IDF declines to discuss the matter, suggesting the country’s Foreign Ministry is the proper address. In turn, the Foreign Ministry says no branch of the Israeli government comments on the country’s military relationship with India.

    The Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv remains tight-lipped about the military realm, but Indian diplomats and military officers are regular visitors to Israel’s military industry companies and also to defense-related conferences in Israel.

    India is a crucial market for Israel’s military-hardware manufacturers. With Washington breathing hotly down Jerusalem’s neck when it comes to military sales, Israel is having to pick its customers very carefully and often only after American approval. Asia’s other giant, China, is a no-go area as far as Israel’s military industries are concerned. At least one huge deal was canceled following forceful pressure from the United States.

    This leaves India as an attractive market, especially since Washington has seemingly shifted its support in favor of New Delhi when it comes to the cold war between India and Pakistan. Indeed, Israel has reportedly taken over from Russia as India’s largest defense supplier.

    In 2008, two Israeli companies, Rafael and IAI, signed a contract to supply India with a surface-to-air missile system and Israel is about to deliver to India three Phalcon AWACS (early-warning systems).

    “We see a new stage in the security cooperation: we develop weapons together, they are investing in Israeli technologies and there is cooperation between Israeli developers and Indian developers,” says Prof. Efraim Inbar, the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University.

    “This is true,” agrees Dr. Thomas Mathew, the joint secretary and deputy director general of the New Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. “We face common problems. We have common threats to our security.”

    The two countries also face another problem: they both declare themselves to be democracies and, like the United States, they have to be extremely careful in ensuring the rule of law is paramount in the fight against terror. That leaves both in a quandary.

    "What do democracies like India and Israel do?” Ambassador Sarna ponders. “We are societies which are open. We are societies which cannot clamp down.”

    This value is espoused in Israel too. Indeed, when looking for the glue that binds India and Israel – many experts are tempted to go way back in history, rather than merely examining the first 60 years of the nations’ statehood.

    Indians see Israel and Israelis “similar to the way they see themselves,” suggests Yariv Ovadia, who once served as political secretary at Israel’s embassy in New Delhi and these days is a spokesman at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

    He points to the countries’ respect for democracy and multiculturalism and their ancient roots.

    Mathew, a former mayor of Cochin, a city with a historic Jewish community, says the bond was formed some 25 centuries ago, when Jews first resided in India.

    Ovadia, Mathew and Inbar agree that today there is much to unite the two. Recent terror attacks in India and Israel have left Indians feeling the terrorists need no real reason to strike, Ovadia argues. Mumbai brought that home to them and they feel the same way about Palestinian attacks against Israel.

    Inbar argues this shared threat has led not only to military cooperation over the last decade or so, but also to joint lobbying on Capitol Hill. Initially, the pro-Indian lobby tried to emulate its pro-Israel counterpart, he says, but today the two are pressing Congress to limit weapons sales to Pakistan.

    While Israel’s Gaza operation in January of 2009 received widespread criticism in the Indian media, the underlying reasons for the action were understood. Diplomatically, India was less forthcoming in its criticism than other states, probably because it was still hurting from the Mumbai attacks.

    Whatever damage was done is temporary and minimal say the diplomats and experts on both sides, and they predict the relationship will continue to blossom for the foreseeable future.


    http://www.themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=24487
     
  4. shiv

    shiv Regular Member

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    ya ya transfer some technology to proove the strength of that glue
     
  5. VayuSena1

    VayuSena1 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    .

    Excuse me? India created by the British? What is the author of this article playing at? Before even the whiff of British or any other white race countries were even there, India had the most developed civilization as one of the largest countries on earth. Several emperors ruled an India under the term Bharatvarsha from current day Uzbekistan to Cambodia (the proof of this visible till date in many of their regions).
     
    Kharavela and parijataka like this.
  6. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    The INDO-israeli co-operation

    all indo-israeli joint venture news and discussions here
     
  7. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    India's relationship with Israel is based on two simple things: We have no conflicts, lots of common interests, and we each have something that the other needs. The 'ancient civilizations" and the rest of the stuff for public consumption can be put aside without losing anything much of value.

    Classic win-win situation.

    The secrecy is for political reasons. Few in India are willing to publicly acknowledge the relationship for fear of alienating the muslim votebanks (especially not the Congress party, which publicly advocates the Palestinian cause.). The BJP seems more open about it, but still treads carefully.
     
  8. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    True. It is a hard nosed relationship. Mainly commercial with little ideological baggage.

    Just the sort we need. :bye:

    PS: We even share one enemy fast moving towards disintegration.
     
  9. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Pakistan is no enemy of Israel.
     
  10. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    I say both are victims of mindless terrorism
     
  11. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    May not be at the government level and openly but the public opinion is highly anti-Israel. More than the Arabs I guess!

    Also they boast about their pilots taking down Israeli air force planes in the Arab-Israeli wars and that they thwarted Israeli attacks on their nuclear program.

    That makes them enemies, covert if not overt.
     
  12. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Sorry, but could I please have a link ?
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The Glue is Money. Lots of it in terms of defense sales. That is the key. Democracy, common interest all that is secondary now.
     
  14. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    I don't agree Yusuf. If that were the case India and China would be the best of friends.

    Democracy is one of the biggest reasons why the two countries can cooperate with no reservations.
     
  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Israel has no qualms about doing business with China which is not a democracy. Its an open secret that it provided China with technology from its Lavi program for China to develop its own fighter.

    Israel was going to sell AWACS and and more before US stepped in. Democracy is a good thing in the relations. But again the glue is Money.
     
  16. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Muslim world's attitude towards India certainly helped too. :113:
     
  17. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    So the US stepped in rite? That's exactly my point. And again, Israel traded with China because they have no conflicts, which IS one of the main reasons for the India-Israel relationship.

    If China were a democracy then perhaps their relationship would approach the kind that India and Israel enjoy.
     
  18. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    US stepped in because ostensibly those products contained significant level of American tech.
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    So it means that Israel has no qualms about dealing it anyone who spends money, but will be stopped only by the US. It has nothing in its heart about dealing with democracies alone.
     
  20. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Maybe not, but the fact is that both countries being democracies tends to remove all impediments wouldn't you agree?
     
  21. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I dont disagree to the fact that common interest and democracy helps. The topic is whats the gel that binds India and Israel is that its pure economics more than anything else. If anything else adds as an additive, good.
     

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