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IAF chief Arup Raha to discuss joint projects in Israel

Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Sunday left on a four-day visit to Israel during which key ongoing and future defence projects between the two countries will be discussed.

Raha’s visit is aimed at consolidating the existing robust bilateral military to military cooperation between India and Israel, IAF said. During his visit to Israel, the Air Chief is scheduled to call on the Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon besides holding meetings with other senior defence officials of that country.

The parleys would essentially focus on a wide range of bilateral issues pertaining to the ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries, it said. IAF plans to purchase two more Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) from Israel. 

In addition to the AWACS, India is also looking at procuring four supplementary Rafael/IAI radar-equipped aerostats for low-level air and sea surveillance by the IAF.

Earlier, India had procured two such aerostats in 2007-08. During his visit to the various operational air bases, Raha would also go to the Israeli Air Force Flight School at Hatzerim air base. He would also be updated on the progress of various defence projects being carried forward as joint ventures between the two countries.

The itinerary also includes a visit to ‘Yad Vashem’, Israel’s memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 and another to the ‘Memorial of Indian Soldiers’ who laid down their lives in the liberation of Haifa during World War I.

In recent years, there have been several close and high level contacts at the political and military levels between the two countries, IAF said.
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