As a recent news report by DNA’s Josy Joseph suggested, the Israelis are having an “unprecedented run” in the Indian defence market. The same news report tells of how the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has completely broken with tradition and put its stamp of approval on the Rs 10,400 crore medium range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) joint venture between the two countries, currently pending final approval by the Cabinet, but expected shortly. This despite the fact that the companies involved are the same that remain officially charged by the CBI and are being investigated for paying kickbacks in the original Barak naval point defence system deal. The same duo of IAI/Rafael is already involved with the co-development of the Barak-2 surface-to-air missile with DRDL and supply of the SpyDer LLQRM to the IAF, another deal that has been criticised.
The photograph to the right is the Popeye “Crystal Maze” PGM, an existing standoff weapon in Rafael’s inventory, procured by the Indian Air Force.