IAF Chief Arup Raha Visits Israel To Boost Ties


Jerusalem: Israel has said it attaches immense importance to its defence cooperation with India as Indian Air Force chief Arup Raha held wide-ranging talks with Israeli defence officials to explore possibilities of mutual cooperation.

Air Chief Marshal Raha, who is in Jerusalem on a four-day “goodwill visit” to Israel, yesterday had half an hour discussion with Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who had served as Israel’s Chief of Staff before joining politics.

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Air Chief Marshal Raha was extended a warm welcome at Israel Defence Forces (IDF) headquarters in Tel Aviv yesterday. “This visit is a step towards strengthening cooperation between the countries,” the IDF Spokesman’s Unit said.

“The visit will help boost robust bilateral military ties between the two countries. Israel attaches immense importance to its defence cooperation with India and we are working together to enhance ongoing collaboration in various areas,” a media adviser to the defence ministry told news agency PTI.

Air Chief Marshal Raha today also visited the Israeli Air Force Flight School at Hatzerim air base among other operating Israeli Air force installations.

Meanwhile, in efforts to deepen its engagement with India in the defence sector and express an intent to participate in “a big way” in the Make in India campaign, 28 Israeli defence companies will be presenting an extensive collection of advanced tools and technologies in Goa at Defexpo 2016.

Some of Israel’s technologies on display at Defexpo include active defence systems, tactical medical equipment, a wide range of sensors, command control and communications (C3) solutions, electro-optical systems, various robotics, fire control solutions, unmanned systems nd navigation devices.

“India is a country with tremendous capabilities. Israel’s large presence at Defexpo reflects our desire to strengthen ties with Indian companies and increase local production of military technologies,” Brigadiar General (Ret) Mishel Ben Baruch, Head of SIBAT (Israel’s defence ministry department regulating international cooperation) was quoted in a press release as saying.

“Many of the Israeli companies at the exhibit are already working closely with Indian companies, creating local job growth through domestic production. We are confident that this relationship will result in the advancement of large projects for the Indian defence forces,” he added.