The head of India’s navy is the latest of his country’s military leaders to visit Israel, despite testy diplomatic relations. Adm. Sureesh Mehta is on a four-day visit to hold talks with top Israeli military officials on ways to further improve the defense relationship between the two countries, according to The Times of India. The Indo-Israeli joint working group on defense met last week to focus on joint research and development projects.
India has purchased from Israel more than $7 billion in military hardware and software since its 1991 Kargil conflict with Pakistan. Indian and Israeli military officials plan to develop an advanced Barak medium-range surface-to-air missile system. The Indian navy purchased 14 Barak-I anti-missile defense systems in 1999. Indian officials reportedly are also looking to acquire from the Israelis Python and Derby air-to-air missiles, Crystal Maze PGMs, Delilah-II air-launched cruise missiles, Gabriel-III sea-skimming anti-ship missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.