SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Until a few weeks back there were remote chances of President Joe Biden’s administration is unlikely to sanction India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for procuring the Russian S-400 air defense systems, but recent military operations inside Ukrainian held areas by the Russian forces means that wavier won’t be coming any time soon and India needs to brace for CAATSA sanctions soon.
The $5.43-billion S-400 ‘Triumf’ missile systems deal has been in the spotlight but India has been cutting down on imports of US-made weapons and equipment already as a precaution with the recent decision to drop plans to acquire 6 more P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft and 30 Predator drones from the United States and instead has decided to focus on the development of the indigenous system.
India not only has diversified its defense sourcing in the last few decades but also is focusing more on production and development of most of the military equipment at home with major boosts being given to new defense start-ups and more private sector giants now entering the defense sector. India already has created a Negative list of weapons that are barred from being imported but the majority of systems and weapons are still out of the list which means big-ticket items like fighter jets and submarines and Air defense systems will still need to be imported.
Procuring more Russian weapons and systems will be much more difficult not because of CAATSA sanctions but because of American hegemony and brute control on the financial services of the world that could invite the wrath of the US Defence complex backed government that wants to eliminate all Russian supply of defense export to cement its position. Its high time and come as a rude wake-up call to the current dispensation that World top military do not depend on imported weapons to secure and fight the wars, they fight with whatever they can manufacture at home and hope soon India to starts working to fix this import obsession and starts buying local even if they are not among the best.
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