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India and Israel move a step closer to produce next generation drones

Israeli Defence Minister Benjamin Gantz with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday evening (Image courtesy: Twitter/@gantzbe)

Focused on their common threat of international terrorism and use of technology to get rid of it, India and Israel today agreed to work together on next generation drones, co-production of military hardware and Research and Development in future technologies and defence co-production.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh exchanged a 'Letter of Intent' on enhancing cooperation in the field of Futuristic Defence Technologies with his visiting Israeli counterpart Benjamin Gantz in New Delhi on Thursday.

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel's Directorate of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D) had last November entered into a Bilateral Innovation Agreement (BIA) to jointly develop next-generation technologies and products such as drones, robotics, artificial intelligence and unhackable quantum computing.


Both Singh and Gantz today discussed the way forward to enhance technological cooperation, particularly on bringing out next generation technologies and products in the areas such as drones.

Israel produces the Heron TP armed drones, but more could be coming from a nation which is a hi-tech powerhouse.

The two also held detailed discussions on a wide range of issues concerning bilateral, regional and defence industrial cooperation while reviewing the existing military-to-military activities which have increased despite the challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Acknowledging mutual security challenges and their convergences on a number of strategic and defence issues, they expressed commitment to work together to enhance cooperation in all forums. With the intention to further strengthen the existing framework of the Indo-Israeli defence cooperation architecture, both sides also adopted the India-Israel Vision on Defence Cooperation. 

Gantz Doval

In the evening, Gantz also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

"It was a pleasure meeting National Security Advisor, H.E. Ajit Doval. We reflected on developing global challenges and shared operational priorities. We also explored joint ventures that will further deepen cooperation and enhance the capabilities of both defense establishments," the minister tweeted after meeting NSA Doval.

Earlier in the day, the Defence Minister of Israel visited the National War Memorial and paid homage to the fallen heroes by laying wreath at the monument. He was accorded a Ceremonial Guard of Honour before his bilateral meeting with Singh. 

Gantz Israel

Gantz is visiting India for the first time with an aim to strengthen the defence ties between the two countries which has been one of the significant pillars of the bilateral cooperation. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of the official diplomatic ties between India and Israel.

Gantz Israel

The Israeli Defence minister along with Naor Gilon, the Ambassador of Israel to India, later visited Judah Hayam synagogue and interacted with the Jewish community. Gantz also paid his respects to the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war hero Lt Gen JFR Jacob, who was one of the most prominent members of the Jewish community in India, at the Jewish cemetery.


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