India, Israel ink deal to develop next generation drones, robotics

Image source: AL Monitor

In reflection of their growing defence ties, India and Israel on Tuesday sealed an agreement to jointly develop next generation technologies and products such as drones, robotics, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, officials said.

The Bilateral Innovation Agreement (BIA) was firmed up between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel’s Directorate of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D).

The pact will provide for promoting innovation as well as research and development in startups and MSMEs to develop dual-use technologies, the officials said.

The defence ministry described the BIA as a “tangible demonstration” of the growing Indo-Israeli technological cooperation.

The agreement was signed between DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy and head of DDR&D Daniel Gold.

“Under the agreement, startups and industry of both countries will work together to bring out next-generation technologies and products in the areas such as drones, robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum technology, photonics, biosensing, brain-machine interface, energy storage, wearable devices, natural language processing, etc,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said products and technologies will be customised to meet the unique requirements of both countries.

“The development efforts will be jointly funded by DRDO and DDR&D, Israel. The technologies developed under BIA will be available to both countries for their domestic applications,” it said.

India is a major buyer of Israel’s military hardware. Israel has been supplying various weapon systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles to India over the last few years but the transactions have largely remained behind the curtains.

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