Israel’s arms exports target Indo-Pacific, Singapore deploys advanced airborne recon pods

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 June 2020, 23:08 GMT]
US-based DefenseNews has revealed that Singapore’s F-16 fighter jets have been spotted carrying a “hitherto unannounced airborne long-range surveillance capability”. The agency, in a report filed on 28 May, said photographs it had obtained were verified to depict Elbit Condor 2 Long Range Oblique Photography (LOROP) system. Israel-based company Elbit Systems has developed the Condor 2, which is a pod with Multi-Spectral (MS) sensing capability integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics used for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. India is having a close relationship with Israel and the company, Elbit Systems.

The Condor 2 pods, deployed by Singapore, can take regular and infra-red photos from up to 80km away at a long “stand-off distance” of up to 50,000 feet from the target.

According to Elbit Systems, the Condor 2 ISTAR pods can operate from a wide variety of platforms, including supersonic fighter aircraft, business jets, maritime patrol aircraft and other aerial systems.

Israel and its defence industry companies such as Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, also see India as their strategic market.

Israel’s military exports over the past four years were the highest ever, according to a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released in March 2020.

India has been a leading buyer of Israeli arms, constituting 45% of the total amount, followed by Azerbaijan (17%) and Vietnam (8.5%).

Elbit noted earlier this year that it was “involved in a range of programs across the Indian defense sector.”

The company has an ongoing joint venture with Adani Defence in Hyderabad for manufacturing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The Israeli company is also known to work with Bharat Electronics. Rafael also has a Hyderabad-based joint venture with India.

Apart from the Quad countries (USA, Japan, Australia and India), several countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines in addition to Singapore are having a well-established arms trade relationship with Isreal, involving airborne and aerial defence systems.

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External Links:
Defense News: New joint ventures hint at ‘burgeoning relationship’ between Israel and India
Defense News: Images reveal Singapore jets equipped with reconnaissance pods — a capability thought missing for 15 years


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