Rajat Pandit, TNN | Aug 9, 2014, 05.34AM IST
NEW DELHI: India and the US on Friday agreed to go in for co-development and co-production of advanced weapon systems, with Washington pushing New Delhi for early decisions on offers ranging from the next-generation Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
But India will not jump headlong into any venture without first ensuring the US sticks to its promise to provide “ground-breaking technology” on par with its closest allies, even though the Modi government is keen to strengthen the moribund domestic defence production sector.
The decision to revive the floundering Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) between the two countries, as also work towards the extension of the 10-year India-US defence framework, was taken after visiting US defence secretary Chuck Hagel held delegation-level talks with his Indian counterpart Arun Jaitley.
But India is still not fully convinced about the US as a reliable long-term, high-end defence supplier, given its propensity to impose sanctions and stringent export control laws. The US, however, believes it can effectively marry trade and technology, with benefits for both.
Stressing that “security, stability, freedom of sea lanes, economic development and energy” is in the interest of the two countries as well as the Asia-Pacific region, Hagel said the US wants to be a partner in India’s military modernization and recognises its needs to strengthen its defence-industrial base.
The US will be led by its under secretary of defence acquisition, technology and logistics Frank Kendall in the DTTI. The Indian points-man, in turn, will be the defence production secretary, which is a comedown from before since former national security advisor Shivshankar Menon earlier led the initiative. Jaitley, incidentally, accepted Hagel’s invite to visit Pentagon when he goes to Washington to attend the annual meetings of IMF and World Bank.
Of all the joint development and production offers, the US is especially keen to push the case for fourth-generation Javelin ATGMs, which even President Barack Obama has personally pushed with Modi. The Indian ATGM project, after all, is going to be worth over $2.5 billion. Javelin is in contention with the Israeli “Spike” tank-killing missiles to bag the project, as was earlier reported by TOI.
With the 1.13-million Indian Army grappling with a huge shortfall of 44,000 ATGMs of different types, the project involves an initial direct acquisition of the man-portable “tank killers”, with a strike range of 2.5km, followed by technology transfer to defence PSU Bharat Dynamics for large-scale indigenous manufacture. The Army is keen to equip all its 382 infantry battalions with third and fourth-generation ATGMs.
Vladimir Sikorski (Ulyanovsk. Russia) 3 hrs ago
In the 50’s and 60’s the Russians supplied us with their MIG’s, T-72 tanks and other weapons. The technology was transferred at that time. What happened after that. Were you guys able to develop further from that platform and make your own planes. No. The French transferred their Mirage aircraft technology in the 70’s and 80’s. Did you develop your own from that platform. No. It took 30 years to develop a 3rd generation aircraft called the Tejas. The Arjun tank was forced on the Army. So why do you Indians keep harping about technology transfer. Even after we give you all the books and manuals and the design features for a product, your paan chewing babu’s of the DRDO and the Defence Ministry are unable to develop anything over and above that. It is way better and cheaper to employ German and Japanese engineers and scientists, pay them well in India and they will develop your arms industry for you. You don’t have much time. World War III is round the corner.
Himanshu Agarwal (Location) replies to Vladimir Sikorski 54 mins ago Bronze : 189189 PointsWordsmith 1News King 1Frequent Flyer 2
Yeah probably India should focus of Developing worlds class universities and then investing similar amount to restructure and new-hiring in DRDO.
Jagdish Sinha (Patna. Bihar) 1 day ago
The USA now is willing to give all the technology India wants as it knows that the idiots in DRDO cannot duplicate or build on anything. The technology for the MIG and the T-90 tanks was transferred by Russia long time ago but we are still unable to build on it and innovate based on the earlier model. It took 30 years to build the Tejas. What a joke it turned out to be. The tech for the French planes was also provided, but just to upgrade the planes they spent billions and had to send them to France. Poor show India.
Swami Vas (Hong Kong) 103 Followers1 day ago Gold : 19.5K19495 PointsInfluencer 7Wordsmith 7Networker 2
PULSE OF INDIA: The fact that India is unconvinced of the reliability of US as a trustworthy defence supplier is absolutely understandable and perfect, considering the past experiences where the US had utterly failed to keep its promises on some important deals. So, it is only right for India to insist that all major deals should be fair and wherever appropriate include transfer of technology which was rightly pinpointed by the Prime Minister. The US belief that it can “effectively marry trade and technology” benefitting both is simply yet another striking example of marriage of convenience! The defence needs of India are indeed varied and important, some even urgent, but the Indian requirements are also huge and long-standing. Thus, it is important for India to ensure continuity in the supply chain which can only be achieved by establishing manufacturing facilities within the country. The keenness of US to strike deals with India on the latest weapons is also equally understandable, especially considering the money-value of the deal as well as its own role as a leading defence equipment exporter but the US should know that from now on all deals with India will have to be on a win-win situation basis! However important or urgent the defence needs are to modernize its armed forces, India should indeed not hurry or plunge into any deals without knowing the depth! India is the largest democracy in the world followed by the US but whether they have been truly friendly or why the US has failed to extend a hand of friendship befitting that status are debatable issues. But one thing is for certain which the world should know that the 21st Century India presently under Modi leadership is going to be a power to be reckoned with! (cc: BJPCALL-LC / PMO /MOD)
Krishna Jha:22 hours ago US Is the leader in front line technology. Before signing any agreement we must ask for TOT. Why to reinvent the wheel. As our limitations to re engineer MIG has been unsuccessful but translating blue more..