Navy Chief Lanba heads to Israel ahead of PM's visit
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic visit to Israel, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Sunday left for the jewish nation on a four-day trip aimed at broadening bilateral defence and security cooperation.
Admiral Lanba will hold talks with Lt Gen Gadi Eisenkot, Chief of the General Staff of Israeli Defence Force, to explore stepping up of cooperation between armed forces of the two countries in the wake of evolving security challenges in the region.
He is also scheduled to meet the Commander-in-Chief of Israeli Navy, Commander of Israeli Air Force, Commander of Israeli Ground Forces and a number of high-ranking officials of Israel's defence ministry, the Navy said in a statement.
Defence ties between India and Israel have been growing rapidly and a raft of mega deals including procurement of an air defence system for the Indian Navy are likely to be sealed during Modi's upcoming visit which will be the first by an Indian Prime Minister to the Jewish nation.
India is the largest buyer of Israel's military hardware and the latter has been supplying various weapon systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles over the last few years, but the transactions have largely remained behind the curtains.
Admiral Lanba is also chairman of the powerful chiefs of staff committee (CoSC) which comprises the Army, Navy and IAF chiefs.