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India-Israel CEOs Forum fortifies defence agreements
July 12, 2017
Hindu BusinessLine

The 12 agreements announced last week will propel the Make In India programme for defence companies
The first India-Israel CEOs Forum, recently held at Tel Aviv, has brought to the fore 12 strategic defence agreements related to radars, anti-ship missiles, air defence systems, as well as UAVs. 
While major corporates such as Kalyani Group, Mahindra Aerospace, Dynamatic Technologies and Elcom took the lead inking agreements to manufacture an expanded range of niche technology products for the military, smaller firms like Alpha Design Technologies, a direct supplier of defence equipment to the armed forces, and Garware Wall Ropes, a technical textile manufacturer, were also in the fray.
Israel’s Elbit Security Systems has also announced its intention to increase its stake in the joint venture with Alpha Design Technologies, from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.
Alluding to other agreements that will be announced over the coming months, since the forum had chieftains from “both countries eager to team up and cater to the defence sector,” sources said Israel was eager to provide advanced technology solutions with its satellites, missiles, weapon systems and munitions, and unmanned and robotic systems.
The 12 agreements announced last week will propel the Make In India programme for defence companies. Sources said the previous reciprocal State visit by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to India following that of President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Israel last year, had laid the seeds towards strengthening economic ties between the two countries. 
Rivlin was in India on November 14, 2016, on a week-long visit, the first by an Israeli President in nearly 20 years.
Four months after President Rivlin’s visit, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel’s prime aerospace and aviation manufacturer, producing aerial and astronautic systems for both military and civilian usage, was awarded a $2-billion military hardware deal by India, termed the largest defence contract in the history of Israel’s defence sector.
The deal “speaks volumes of the dignitaries’ visit and the importance it played in strengthening the aerospace industry in Israel,” the sources said.
Israel has been supplying India with various weapons systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles for several years now. However, acquiring additional weapon systems from Israel has been a subject matter of discussions between both nations.
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