Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a defence Public Sector Undertaking, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to establish a joint venture. The primary objective of this joint venture is to provide a one-stop solution for long-term product support services to India’s defence forces. The collaboration between the two entities will ensure that the armed forces of India have access to advanced and reliable defence products and services.

According to a statement from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), the Union Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhat, announced the news during the Aero India 2023 air show and aviation exhibition, currently taking place at the Yelahanka Air Force Station.

The statement suggests that the partnership represents a crucial move towards strengthening the relationship between the two companies, who have a lengthy history of working together. indicates that the partnership is a noteworthy advancement in solidifying the connection between the two firms, which have a substantial background of affiliation.

BEL, recognized as a ‘Navratna’ firm and a prominent producer of defence electronic products and systems, has been working collaboratively with IAI, a major aerospace and defence firm in Israel, on various joint projects for the Indian military. The latest initiative is the formation of a joint venture to provide comprehensive life cycle support for MRSAM (Medium Range Surface to Air Missile) air defence systems in India, with the company headquartered in New Delhi and offering necessary technical and maintenance assistance to the armed forces.

MRSAM is a sophisticated defense system designed to defend against various types of airborne threats, such as missiles and aircraft. It is utilized by multiple branches of the Indian military as well as the Israeli Defense Forces. The system consists of several components, including a high-tech radar, a command center, portable launchers, and interceptors with advanced radio frequency detection capabilities. MRSAM is a joint venture between IAI and DRDO, developed in partnership with India and Israel specifically for the defense needs of the Indian armed forces.

The statement highlights that the joint venture between IAI and DRDO reinforces IAI’s backing of the Indian government’s goal of achieving self-sufficiency in India (Atmanirbhar Bharat). Additionally, it demonstrates the company’s unwavering dedication to its partnership with DRDO in developing and providing cutting-edge systems for the Indian military. The collaboration is expected to capitalize on the combined expertise of both IAI and BEL to deliver synergistic benefits.

According to the statement, Bhat expressed that Israel is a critical strategic partner of India, and the triumphant creation and implementation of the MRSAM system for the Indian military is a testament to the fruitful collaboration between the two nations. The minister further remarked that the partnership between these esteemed Indian and Israeli companies would undoubtedly serve as a crucial point of contact in providing product support services for the MRSAM system. Bhat added that the collaboration would act as a catalyst for the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The statement quoted BEL CMD Bhanu Prakash Srivastava stating that the leading defense PSU recognizes IAI as a crucial strategic partner. He further mentioned that the joint venture between the two companies is anticipated to have a significant role in ensuring prompt product support services for MRSAM systems, as well as fostering substantial domestic work-sharing through the active engagement of the Indian supply chain.

Boaz Levy, President and CEO of IAI, has expressed that the partnership between IAI and BEL will utilize cutting-edge technology, innovation, and skilled personnel to deliver services that meet the demands of their customers in India. This collaboration is in line with IAI’s commitment to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative and its investment in India, as demonstrated by the opening of Aerospace Services India (ASI), an IAI subsidiary located in New Delhi, which was announced in 2022.