India and Israel discussed cooperation for the development of advanced defence technologies, with a focus on Unmanned Systems, during a defence ministerial level bilateral meeting in the capital on Thursday.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh exchanged a Letter of Intent on enhancing cooperation in the field of Futuristic Defence Technologies with his counterpart Benjamin Gantz during the meeting. "With the intention to further strengthen the existing framework of the Indo-Israeli defence cooperation architecture, both sides adopted the India-Israel Vision on Defence Cooperation," an official statement after the visit said.

The two sides discussed issues concerning bilateral and regional matters as well as existing military activities being conducted like joint development and training.

"India and Israel share similar and common challenges, including those of border security and fighting terrorism. By working together, we may increase our capabilities and ensure the security and economic interests of both countries," Israeli Defence Minister Benjamin Gantz said.

A cooperation agreement has been signed between the Indian DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and Israel's Directorate for Defence R&D, which will enable the expansion of technological collaboration and development between countries, an Israeli Embassy spokesperson said.

"The ministers discussed partnerships within the government-to-government framework, military training, and technological cooperation with a focus on UAVs and defensive capabilities," the spokesperson added.

India has had close military relations with Israel, with joint projects underway like air defence missile systems and advanced electronics. Israel is among the top suppliers of military equipment to India, with contracts for drones, radars and ammunition being placed in the past. Several Israeli companies have formed joint ventures with Indian defence players to target Make in India projects of the defence ministry.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of the official diplomatic ties between India and Israel.