New Delhi: As a long-standing defence partner to India, Israel has exported numerous top-notch weapons and weapon systems to India. In June 2022, Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh and his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Gantz, had concluded their meeting which deepened defence relations between both countries. To put together a road map for a 10-year-long comprehensive collaboration, both the countries have signed an ‘India–Israel Vision on Defence Cooperation’. Israel is known to be a world-class defence exporter. According to a report from Statistica, Israel ranked 10th in terms of major exporters’ market shares in major weapons 2021. First, is the USA followed by Russia, and France. As per a report by SIPRI named ‘Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2021,’ India is the biggest importer with most of its weapons bought from Russia. However, Israel is an important country because it has some of the most innovative weapon systems across the globe. In this article, we will see the top 7 weapons Israel has provided.
Derby is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems. It can be integrated with numerous fighter jets such as Mirage, Falcon, Gripen E, F-16 Fighting Falcon, etc. The development of Derby started in the 1980s and entered into service in 1998. Since 2005, India has deployed this missile. In 2019, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS’ naval variant carried the Derby BVR missile at a test facility in Goa. The missile is imported by India for various aircraft and is being deployed on several frontiers.
Tavor Assault Rifle
It is developed by Israel and exported to several countries, including India. This, 5.56X45mm Assault Rifle, has very low maintenance and can be operated in any terrain. India purchased it in 2006 for the first time after several modifications. Now, however, it is being built in India. It can shoot 30-round NATO magazine capacity.
‘NATO magazine’ is a standard used by the north Atlantic treaty organisation member countries. Since it is an advanced rifle, the Indian forces have specialised commando units that use Trevor. These units are equipped in carrying out missions such as surgical strikes, anti-hijacking, and rescue missions in hostage conditions.
Phalcon AWACS systems are also called eyes in the sky. It is an airborne warning and control system (AWACS). India, till 2020, had three AWACS. There are reports that the government had cleared the acquisition of two more AWACS after the stand-off with PLA in Ladakh. AWACS have a 360 rotodome mounted on the top of the Russian Ilyushin-76 heavy-lift aircraft. The system is developed by Israel Aerospace Agency in collaboration with Israeli forces. India also has two DRDO-built AWACS with 240-degree rotodome. On the other hand, China possesses 28 AWACS.
B-300 Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher
The 82-mm calibre rocket launcher was developed by Israel Military Industries (IMI) in the 1970s. The system entered the Israel Defence Forces in 1980. It is an 8-kg (while loaded) launcher with a 500-meter sighting range. The fire capacity stands at 3 rounds per minute. B-300 is light and compact which makes it handy for paratroopers, marines, and special forces.
In Rs 880 crore, India bought 16,479 Negev guns. With 7.62X51 mm dimensions, the Negev is an all-weather weapon which is used by several countries in the world. It is built by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) and will replace Galil Light Machine Gun (LMG). Galil LMG has been showing traits of overheating. Negev N7 can shoot at a rate of 600-700 rounds per minute and in extreme situations, forces can push it to 1,000 rounds per minute. It has a range of nearly 1 km.
Spike Anti-Tank Missiles
The highly reliable, accurate, and multi-purpose missiles are developed by a Israeli Defence firm Rafael. Nearly 39 countries deploy these missiles and over 30,000 missiles are in use.
It is a short-range precision-guided missile and can be used as a multi-purpose infantry weapon system. A long-time user of Israeli weapons, India had chosen an emergency purchase of Israeli Spike Medium Range anti-tank guided missile after the Balakot airstrike in 2019. It bought 240 missiles and 12 launchers.
The missile can penetrate one meter of armour and describe as a fire-and-forget anti-tank missile with a tandem-charge HEAT warhead.
India and Israel developed the medium-range surface-to-air-missile or the Barak-8 air defence system. Be it enemy fighter jets, helicopters, UAVs or fighter jets, the Barak-8 has the ability to shoot them down at a range of 70 km. Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh had even called the capability of Barak-8 a ‘game changer’. With advanced radar and control systems, it gives better manoeuvrability to India. It is developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Rafael and a few Indian firms have also contributed to the project.