SOURCE: DEEPAK HILORI/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Although the US has often claimed that India is a trading partner equal to its NATO allies, there have been instances where the US denied state-of-the-art defense hardware that India wanted. One such instance was when India was interested in acquiring Israel’s Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missiles, but the US did not give export clearance for it.
Another instance was when the US offered India its Patriot PAC-3 and THAAD Air Defense system to thwart India’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system. However, the US has not provided India with the General Atomics MQ-20 Avenger (Predator C) that the Indian Air Force wanted to bolster its offensive capabilities, despite offering the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator armed drone to India in the past.
The US’s reluctance to provide India with high-end military equipment has frustrated India, which seeks to modernize its defense forces and bolster its strategic position in the Indo-Pacific region. India is keen to expand its defense cooperation with the US, but it has also been diversifying its defense procurement sources to reduce its dependence on any single supplier.
The recent AUKUS deal has highlighted the US’s reluctance to provide high-end military equipment to India. While the US has cleared the deal to supply Virginia class nuclear submarines to Australia, a country that shares no border with China and has no disputes over sea lanes, India, on the other hand, has been left wanting despite its high alertness due to frequent border standoffs with China. The Chinese claim over several thousands of kilometers of Indian land as their own has led to a need for India to beef up its military capabilities to deter any potential threat from its neighbor.
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has led the US to urge India to sever its ties with Russia, but so far, the US has not made any significant efforts to provide alternative military hardware to India. Furthermore, the sanctions imposed on the Russian banking system have had a detrimental effect on India’s security and defense grid, causing a shortage of spare parts for Russian equipment. This situation could potentially compromise India’s military readiness in the event of a conflict with China, as China could potentially exploit India’s lack of spare parts to gain the upper hand.
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