New Delhi: India and Israel now plan to further crank up their already expansive defence partnership by going in more co-development and co-production projects of high-tech weapon systems and exporting them to other friendly countries. Israel has been among the top four arms suppliers to India for almost two decades now, notching military sales worth around $1 billion every year.

This comes at a time when the Indian armed forces are inducting the next-generation Barak-8 surface-to-air missile systems under three joint DRDO-Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) projects worth over Rs 30,000 crore.

Th SWG to promote joint projects, under the overarching joint working group on defence cooperation headed by the Indian Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and his Israeli counterpart, will explore defence industrial cooperation with focus on areas like transfer of technology, technology security, artificial intelligence, innovation and joint export to third nations.

The SWG will be headed by Sanjay Jaju, joint secretary (defence industries production) in the Indian defence ministry and Eyal Calif, director Asia & Pacific from the Israeli one.

It should be noted that Israel has been among one of the top four arms suppliers to Indian armed forces, with annual sales worth over a billion dollars.