India deepens defense ties with Israel

November 8, 2009 -- Amid Israeli efforts to bolster military ties and export military hardware, the Indian Chief of Staff Gen. Deepak Kapoor arrived in Israel on Saturday for talks with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.

Kapoor will hold talks with Ashkenazi as well as other senior Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He will visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem during his four-day visit, as well as the IDF's Southern Command.

Israel and India enjoy close defense ties and Israel last year overtook Russia as the number-one supplier of military platforms to India after breaking the $1 billion mark in new contracts signed annually.

According to press reports, India is interested in working with Israel on submarine-launched cruise missiles, ballistic missile defense systems, laser-guided systems, satellites as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.

The visit to Israel comes just before the first anniversary of the attacks last November in Mumbai against a hotel as well as a Chabad House, during which over 170 people were killed, including the Chabad emissary to Mumbai and his pregnant wife.

Since the attack, Israel has assisted India in beefing up its security, particularly along its coast, where the terrorists allegedly infiltrated from nearby Pakistan.

Last Tuesday, Kapoor was quoted as saying that South Asia was infested with terror groups and there was a possibility that attacks of the sort that happened at Mumbai could happen again.

"We have to take all steps to prevent any Mumbai-type attacks. We cannot rule out apprehensions of such possibilities," Kapoor was quoted as saying by news sites.

"India cannot afford to witness a repeat of 26/11. May I therefore recommend that the nation needs to forge ahead towards acquiring a nationwide architecture for facilitating speedy flow of intelligence, an updated database for providing decision support based on geographical information system and a network of quick execution of plans by the nearest suitable security agency."


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