Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Israel has formally assured India that their defense supplies will continue without disruption. India is the largest market for Israeli weapons and procures a wide range of advanced military hardware, including missiles, sensors, radars, drones, and night-vision devices.
Sources within the Indian defense establishment have confirmed that Israel has communicated its commitment to maintaining the supply of defense equipment to India, emphasizing the importance of their strategic defense relationship.
Despite the conflict, both countries view the current situation as an opportunity to further collaborate in the defense sector. One potential avenue for cooperation is the establishment of domestic manufacturing facilities in India, utilizing Israeli expertise. This approach could offer cost-effective solutions for both nations.
India has previously placed orders for Spike-LR (Long Range) Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) from Israel as part of its emergency procurement efforts. Additionally, India employs Israeli radars, such as the MF-Star, on several navy ships. Indian defense and paramilitary forces also use Israeli small arms, including Negev light machine guns (LMG), Tavor assault rifles, and Galil snipers.
Israel has been a key supplier of drones to India, including the Herons, Harpy, and Searcher Mk-II. Israeli-made Spice 2000 bombs were used by Indian fighter jets during the Balakot airstrike in 2019, highlighting the effectiveness of Israeli weaponry.
The defense collaboration between India and Israel gained momentum during the Kargil war in 1999 when Israel provided India with laser-guided missiles and mortar ammunition for its fighter jets. Between 2018 and 2022, India was Israel’s largest arms market, accounting for 37% of Israel’s arms exports, according to SIPRI data published in March 2023.
Israel remains a close partner in defense and security for India, with Israeli technology and components integrated into various weapon systems produced in India. This enduring relationship underscores the strength and importance of their bilateral defense ties.