Jerusalem: Corporate giant Tata Group is mulling a joint venture with Israel’s Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd to jointly compete for the supply of defence systems to the Indian army, a media report said.
The two sides raised the issue during the sixth biennial Aero India Aerospace and Defence Exhibition in India’s IT hub Bangalore recently, business daily ‘Globes´ reported.
Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata met Rafael CEO Maj Gen (Res) Yedidia Yaari and other senior executives during the exhibition, the daily said.
The Israeli defence industry’s representatives also held a series of meetings with senior Tata executives on the formation of a joint venture specialising in defence, it said.
The collaboration will give Tata access to a wide range of defence systems that the Indian Army wants, the report quoting sources from Bombay House said.
Tata’s entry to the defence field is likely to break the monopoly enjoyed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, which has a cooperation agreement with Israel Aircraft Industries.
Rafael is said to be on the verge of signing a $270 million (Rs1,193 crore) deal with India for supplying “Spyder” medium and short range advanced anti-aircraft systems.
These include two Rafael missiles, the “Derby” active radar beyond visual range (BVR) missile and the Python 5, dual band imaging infrared (IIR) missile.
The Israeli defence industry has so far sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weapons and control and monitoring systems to the Indian Army, the report added.