December 9, 2009:
Israel has become a major exporter of military equipment to India. And that includes advice, as well as hardware. Recently, for example, Indian Air Force commanders have been asking Israeli advice on the Indian effort to select a supplier for over a hundred high end jet fighters. Israeli Air Force officials have recommended the U.S. F-16. In this case, the Israelis practice what they preach, currently having over 300 F-16s in service. Israeli firms also manufactures a lot of add-on gear for F-16s (and similar fighters). India has been leaning towards the Swedish Gripen, but the Israelis point out that the F-16 is cheaper, and battle proven.
Over the last seven years, Israel has sold more than five billion dollars worth of arms to India. The two nations have cooperated on counter-terrorism matters, as both countries are primary targets for Islamic radicals. Israel is a high tech development powerhouse, something India is trying to become. So the two countries are now jointly developing some new weapons systems.
The biggest single sale, worth nearly half a billion dollars, was the Barak anti-missile systems for ships. The Barak system uses small missiles to shoot down incoming anti-ship missiles. Israel weapons have a solid reputation for reliability and effectiveness. Israeli success in several wars adds to the appeal of their armaments. U.S. and Israeli arms manufacturers often work together, which also gives Israel an edge when selling their equipment.