Mehta was said to have reviewed efforts to enhance the Israeli-origin
Barak missile defense system. The Barak-2, meant to protect ships from a
range of missiles, was designed to expand the interception and detection
Industry sources said India has sought to purchase Israeli missile
technology. The sources cited Indian interest in Israel's Python-5 and Derby
air-to-air missiles as well as the Delilah-2 air-launched cruise missile.
Mehta was said to have also discussed the navy's interest in Israel's
Gabriel-3 anti-ship missile. Gabriel-3 was described as a sea-skimming
missile developed by IAI.
The Indian Navy has also been briefed on unmanned aerial vehicles for
surface vessels. India has a range of Israeli UAVs, including the strategic
India has already deployed 14 Barak-1 systems, produced by the
state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. Under the sale, some of the
components of the
Barak were produced in India.
For its part, Israel plans to launch its first spy satellite from India.
The launch of IAI's TechSAR had been scheduled for September 2007, but
technical mishaps delayed launch until sometime in early 2008.
Officials said TechSAR, Israel's first synthetic aperture radar imaging
satellite, would be placed into orbit by India's Polar Satellite Launch
Vehicle. They said India and Israel were seeking to resolve unidentified
defects in TechSAR.
India and Israel were said to have close relations with New Dehli,
deemed the biggest client of Israel's defense industry. In early January,
the Indian-Israeli working group on defense examined a range of joint
research and development projects.
Officials said India has sought to replace weapons procurement from
Israel with joint development projects. They said the projects also
envisioned third country sales that would benefit India and Israel.