Indo-Israeli defence collusion

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AT a time when India is deliberately heightening tension on Line of Control, Working Boundary and hurling threats to Pakistan, it should be a matter of concern for our policy makers that New Delhi has entered into a $1.4b defence deal with Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) for purchase of two Phalcon/IL-76 Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) and 10 Heron TP unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). IAI has also given a proposal to India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to jointly develop an advanced version of Heron UAV in India.
No doubt, both civilian and military leaderships of Pakistan have conveyed an unambiguous message that aggression from India would get a befitting response. It has rightly been pointed out that our battle-hardened troops have the capability to foil designs of the enemy in case of any misadventure. The nation too stands firm behind the armed forces in defending the motherland. It is, however, pointed out that modern warfare cannot just be undertaken on the basis and strength of morale of the troops and the nation. One must be prepared to take necessary measures to respond to challenges thrown by the enemy, which is amassing all sorts of weapons from across the globe and there are reasons to believe that these are primarily meant for Pakistan and then China. Apart from accord with Israel, Indian Navy’s Fast Interception Crafts (FICs) that has speed up to 45 knots has been deployed to supplement the existing surveillance assets while Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday commissioned the third indigenously-designed guided missile destroyer ‘INS Chennai’ that is armed with supersonic surface-to-surface BrahMos missiles and Barak-8 long range surface-to-air missiles. There are also 41 ships and submarines under construction in Indian shipyards. India’s defence preparations can be gauged by the fact that during the financial year that ended in October, it signed 15 defence contracts worth $10.5b. Under these circumstances, despite our resolve not to enter into an arms race, steps must be taken to counter the growing threat especially when we have a bitter history of aggression on our eastern borders.