Wednesday, 23 November 2011

India Welcomes Israeli Air Force Chief

Even though Israel is looking for military solution to end Iran's ambition for nuclear weapon and India is looking for a diplomatic way out, yet India and Israel continue to silently expand their already expansive ties in the fields of defence and homeland security.

Israeli Air Force commander-in-chief, Major-General Ido Nehushtan, is the latest in the series of high-level visits to India, which are kept under the radar due to political sensitivities, to further bolster the "bilateral strategic partnership''. This comes close on the heels of the visit by Israeli Minister of public safety to expand counter-terrorism and intelligence sharing mechanism with India.

Maj-Gen Nehushtan, on his part, discussed military cooperation with IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne on Monday, and is slated to meet his naval and army counterparts and other MoD officials on Tuesday.

Interestingly, India is all set to order another two advanced Israeli Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems), capable of detecting hostile aircraft, cruise missiles and other incoming aerial threats far before ground-based radars, at a cost of over $800 million.

Israel has steadily become the second-largest defence supplier to India after Russia. Recently it has bagged many big ticket orders. Most of the UAV's and drones used by the Indians are being supplied by the Israeli's. If total is calculated then Israel easily sells more than !billion worth of defense goods to India every year. As reported earlier DRDO and IAI are going to field Barak 8 pretty soon too. Plus Israel is very wary of Pakistani nukes too, it believes that Pakistan is the main black marketeer of nuclear weapons. It has urged India many times in the past to take decisive action against Pakistan.

Short Bio of Israeli Air Chief

"Major General Ido Nehushtan, the sixteenth Commander in Chief of the Israeli Air Force, enlisted in the IDF in July 1975. He volunteered for pilot training, and graduated as a combat pilot with honors. Following the course, he served as a pilot in a Skyhawk Squadron, and in 1978 he was transferred to fly Phantom aircraft, in the "Knights of the Orange Tail" Squadron.

In 1979, he was appointed as a Flight School instructor, and was a member of the school's aerobatic staff.

In 1983, he was retrained to fly the F-16 "Netz" and was placed in the "Negev" Squadron, where he became second-in-command.

In 1989, Nehushtan was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and was appointed as commander of the "Golden Eagle" Squadron. In 1991 he commanded the "Scorpion" Squadron.

In 1993, he was appointed as head of the Armament Branch of the Weaponry Department in IAF headquarters, and in 1994 he was promoted to the rank of colonel and appointed head of the IAF Planning and Organization Department. In 1997 he was appointed commander of the Hatzor Airbase.

In 2000, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and appointed head of the Intelligence Group, in 2002 he was appointed head of the Air Group and in 2004 he was appointed head of Air Force Headquarters.

In August 2006 Nehushtan was promoted to the rank of major general and served as head of Planning Directorate in IDF General Headquarters.

In May 2008 he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Israeli Air Force.

Major General Nehushtan graduated with honours from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he studied Mathematics and Computer Science and earned an MBA from the Kellogg-Recanati International Executive MBA Program, a joint program of Tel Aviv University, and Northwestern University, Chicago. He is also a graduate of Harvard University's Advanced Management Program."

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