Israel’s Rafael eyes larger role in India’s defence programme

Keen to make India a global manufacturing hub for its high-tech defence systems, Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems is “speaking” to several Indian companies.

Though the defence major has been working with different branches of the Indian military, it is seeking to enlarge its partnerships in India.

“India and Israel are strategic partners and Israel has always supported India’s urgent operational necessities during times of crisis,” said a senior official of the company.

For Rafael too, he added, India is a strategic and significant partner. Rafael designs, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of defence systems for air, land, sea and space applications.

“Rafael has always stood by India to supply systems at short notice during various operational contingencies. We work with the different branches of the Indian military and Indian security,” the official told BusinessLine.

The company has been looking to establish global manufacturing hubs for the supply of systems abroad, and is keenly watching “the Indian defence industry as it matures”, said the official, adding: “Rafael is open to exploitation of our R&D intensive and combat proven technology for developing the Indian defence industry.”

Though the company has already partnered with Bharat Forge, Reliance Defence, Bharat Dynamics and Astra Microwave Systems, among others, and has “excellent relations with the DRDO and the forces”, it is keen to expand its activities in India.

Several of the company’s armaments are already in use with Indian forces.

A spokesperson for Rafael told BusinessLine that the company has integrated its “electro-optical Litening pod, air-to-air missiles Python-5 and i-Derby, as well as air defence systems in India”.

Last June, Rafael agreed to supply 164 Litening targeting pods to the Indian Air Force (IAF), for use on four types of combat aircraft including the Sukhoi Su-30 fighters.

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Rafael Litening-5 targeting pod is integrated on Airbus Defence and Space-owned Eurofighter combat aircraft. The IAF has been using Litening-3 Pods on the Mig-29, Sukhoi-30KI, Mirage-2000, and the indigenous developed LCA Tejas.






Source:- Hindu Business Line

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