Naval Chief begins four-day visit to Israel

India`s Naval Chief and Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma heading a high-level delegation began a four day visit to Israel Monday.

Tel Aviv: India`s Naval Chief and Admiral
Nirmal Kumar Verma heading a high-level delegation began a
four day visit to Israel, as New Delhi and Tel Aviv are poised
to start joint development and production of futuristic weapon
systems and platforms.

Defence sources here described the visit a part of
"service to service cooperation" during which wide ranging
defence cooperation between the countries will be reviewed.

Verma, invited by his Israeli counterpart Eliezer Marom,
will also call upon Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of
Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and other senior defence officials during
his four day trip.

He will visit the Haifa cemetery tomorrow to lay a wreath
on the memorial of fallen Indian soldiers who sacrificed their
lives in the liberation of Haifa during World War I.

A large number of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives
in this region during the First World War and nearly 900 are
cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.

A unique ceremony commemorating the sacrifice of Indian
soldiers was observed this year on September 22 as part of the
Haifa Day celebrations.

The Indian army commemorates September 23rd every year as
Haifa Day, to pay its respects to the two brave Indian Cavalry
Regiments that helped liberate the city in 1918 following a
dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry

In the autumn of that year, the Brigade was a part of the
Allied Forces sweeping northwards through Palestine in what is
seen as the last great cavalry campaign in history.

"No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was
fought in the whole course of the campaign. Machine gun
bullets over and over again failed to stop the galloping
horses even though many of them succumbed afterwards to their
injuries", is how the Official History of the War (Military
operation Egypt and Palestine: volume 2) describes the Indian
troops bravery.

Captain Aman Singh Bahadur and Dafadar Jor Singh were
awarded the Indian Order of Merit (IOM) and Captain Anop Singh
and 2nd Lt Sagat Singh were awarded the Military Cross (MC) as
recognition for their bravery in this battle.

Major Dalpat Singh (MC) is known in the annals of history
as the Hero of Haifa for his critical role in the Liberation
of the city.

India and Israel are said to be recently discussing the
prospect of further expanding defence relationship with
strategic implications.

The volume of defence business between the two countries
can be gauged from the fact that Israel has already supplied
Barak missiles to the Navy, night fighting devices to the Army
and the Air Force and improved the radar network of the Indian
Air Forces supplying hitech electronic warfare systems and
information technology.
The first of the three Phalcon airborne early warning
radar systems (AWACS) supplied by Israel as part of a 1.1
billion USDs deal has given a big boost to India`s
reconnaissance capabilities.

As per local sources, India is Israel`s single largest
importer of its defence equipment constituting about 50 per
cent of Israel`s defence exports and about 30 per cent of
India`s imports.
India has also sought to replace weapons procurement from
Israel with joint development projects, including potential
sale of the jointly manufactured defence equipments to other


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