NEW DELHI: In an attempt to deepen the bilateral defence ties between India and Israel, visiting Israeli Navy Chief Vice Admiral Ram Rutberg on Monday held talks with top Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials in the South Block here. Vice Admiral Rutberg, who is on an official visit to the country from 24 -27 August, is scheduled to visit Kochi-based Southern Naval Command and Western Naval Command in Mumbai.
According to the Navy, the visit by Vice Admiral Rutberg will further consolidate the cooperation between Indian Navy amd Israeli Navy.
Rutberg called on Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan, which was followed up by meetings with Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar.
According to MoD officials, the visit comes at a time when the long-range surface-to-air missile Barak 8 is undergoing trials in Israel. The project is being carried out by India and Israel jointly. “We are looking forward to the trials to be completed successfully so that the missile is available for both Indian and Israeli Navies,” Dhowan told reporters here on Monday morning. Rutberg said, “The road map ahead is joint collaboration in developing defence technology.”
Israel has been a key defence partner for India. Asked how Israel sees a possible visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this year, Rutberg said, “Any Indian visiting Israel is Prime Minister. We welcome him, salute him and we appreciate him.”