NEW DELLHI: India and Israel together can form a formidable team to be world leaders in defence arena, BJP leader Tarun Vijay said today.
Addressing a seminar on 'Strategic Defence Cooperation between India and Israel' organized by FICCI jointly with SIBAT, Ministry of Defence, Israel, Vijay said India with its frugal engineering skills and Israel's repository of high technology is a winning combination.
"Together, we can access and capture markets that are out of our reach individually," Vijay, a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, said.
He claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make-in-India campaign has "infused a new vigour" in defence production sector.
Indian companies are now seeking to explore co-production and co-development opportunities with foreign OEMs.
"This augurs well with the huge defence modernization programme, availability of skills sets and willingness to invest in strategic sector and the aspiration to get a piece of the global defence business by integrating into the global supply chain of OEMs," he said.
However, he added that any partnership has its challenges.
Discharge of offset was one Israeli companies faced till a month back. "I am happy to share with you that the Ministry of Defence has now allowed the OEMs flexibility to change the Indian Offset Partner, thereby giving flexibility to fulfil their offset obligations," he said.
Vijay said that over the past decade or so, Israel has become India's second largest arms supplier. During the first decade of the 21st century, Israel transferred an estimated USD 10 billion worth of military equipment to India.
Brig Gen (Retd) Mishel Ben Baruch, Director, SIBAT, said that Israel shared a relationship with India that goes much beyond the buyer-seller relationship and extends to transfer of technology and joint research and development.