India, Israel keen on “Make in India” for defence manufacturing
Sai Nikesh | The Dollar Business A day after the “Aero India” show, the Government of India is pitching for indigenous construction of $8billion worth six nuclear-powered submarines and Rs 1 lakh crore-and above-worth seven stealth-technology-enabled frigates promoting domestic manufacturing. According to a report, the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has taken decision to build six nuclear submarines to strengthen India’s naval power in the Indian Ocean, besides the construction of seven stealth-technology-enabled frigates under the Rs 50,000 crore Project 17-A in Mumbai and Kolkata under Make in India policy. Simultaneously, India is soon to approve an order of two ‘Phalcon’ class interceptor aircraft from Israel Aerospace Industries (AIA) to the tune of $1.1 billion. Deal to purchase radar balloons worth $300 million from Elta, an Israel’s leading producer of defence products, is also on agenda, say the defence sources. The Indian government’s move for defence purchase from Israel came in the light of first Israel Defence Minister’s maiden visit to India on Wednesday since 1992, which is expected to boost the India-Israel defence cooperation. Speaking to media, the Israel Defence Minister Ya'alon was quoted to have said, ‘Israel was ready to expose its relations with India, but it was up to the Indian government to take it out from the closest.’ According to the Israeli news reports, the Israeli Minister was also quoted to have said that ground breaking security relations between India and Israel, are also likely to be strengthened in future. The Israeli Minister further said that Israel will think on what could be done to India under Make in India policy, in a way that it can offer technological assistance for the domestic manufacturing in India. Here, it is evident in the Israel Minister’s statement that besides its already-leading defence exports business with India, Israel is also keen on continuing its profit-making defence business with India, by being part of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative too. India has been one of the major defence export markets for Israel. However, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), USA climbed to the second position next to Russia in arms exports to India in CY2013, pushing Israel to the third position.
This article was published on February 19, 2015.