It wasn’t long after India got its independence from its wretched colonial masters that Israel fought off its Arab neighbors, defying the overwhelming opposition successfully with customary bravado. While India became an independent country in 1947, twelve months down the road, Israel too, would breathe in the land it has always regarded its own. Nearly eight decades later, but not before fighting tumultuous wars such as the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur, Israel stands like a lion in the Middle East albeit with one eye always open, guarding staunchly its sovereignty against an enemy that it knows is still sworn to destroy it, the moment it disposes of its weapons.
If you were to think of the closeness that today exists between the two democracies; one regarded as one of the largest in the entire world and the other, the only recognized home of the Jews, then starting with political luminaries would only be the most normal thing to do.
Where India had in the great Indira Gandhi, its own iron lady that oversaw a difficult decade immediately post the liberalized era, then in Golda Meir, Israel had, above anything else, its godmother; the iron-lady recognized widely as among the founding fathers of the country.
Other similarities between the two countries, both of whom in staunch opposition to Pakistan, with Israel even a step further in having no diplomatic relations, whatsoever (with the Imran Khan-led nation), find their respective Air Force units as one of the unique facets of their armed forces.
The close defense ties between Israel and India are not some new sudden development; with India importing weaponry and armaments from Israeli heartland for a period not less than the last two decades. This closeness in co-operation in that aspect of defense preparedness that’s second to none, especially in the strangely vulnerable times we are amid in the 21st century, actually got a new boost a few hours back with massive development.
So what was it and why are defence experts and security analysits raving the new feather in Israel’s hat in its exports to India?
In a strong purchase from Israel, India will now have its ‘eyes in the sky’ in the form of two additional Phalcon Airborne Early Warning Systems.
Capable of detecting any airborne threat and negating it from anywhere over India’s skies, the sterling new move is a positive step toward bolstering the surveillance capabilities of the Indian Air Force.
Having said that, more details can be made from a report published in the Swarajya Magazine:
The deal valued at around $1 billion presently, was derailed at least a couple of times in the past due to the high costs involved.
The report quotes several highly placed sources as stating that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is all set to give its final nod to the deal after extensive inter-ministerial consultations.
The deal would entail acquisition of the two AWACS, with the Israeli PHALCON early-warning radar system mounted on Russian Ilyushin-76 heavy-lift aircraft, which will be delivered in three to four years.
The above told, it is critical defence purchases like the above that bring India and Israel closer to one another; both countries having to necessitate the need to eliminate unwanted terrorist attacks. May this co-operation grow by leaps and bounds in the times to come.