Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi Wednesday, Feb. 18, opened the Aero India Air Show at the Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, in which more than 300 foreign firms are competing for sales to the Indian defense market. During a visit to the Israeli pavilion, Modi talked to Moshe Ya’alon, the first Israeli defense minister to pay a formal visit to India, and to heads of some of the 25 Israeli companies displaying their wares. The most prominent items are the Israel Aerospace Industries’ Bombardier Global 500 naval reconnaissance aircraft; Rafael’s C-DOME naval defense system based on Iron Dome technolog; and Elbit’s Music series designed to defend civilian airliners against shoulder-carried missiles.
Relations between the two countries have developed rapidly since Modi was elected prime minister of India last year. In October, New Delhi purchased Rafael's Spike anti-tank guided missile in a deal worth $525 million. In November, a joint aerial defense system which passed its first trial in simulated combat conditions.