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The Pentagon is making efforts to strengthen its military ties with India and prevent further strategic military hardware deals between India and Russia. To achieve this goal, the United States is considering offering India military hardware on a long-term lease, a practice often employed by Russia in its dealings with India.

Over the past few years, the United States has been actively working to reduce India’s military dependence on Russia. While Russia remains India’s largest supplier of military hardware, there has been a noticeable decline in Russian military imports by India, which has dropped by 19% in the last five years, primarily due to sanctions imposed on Russia.

The United States recognizes the importance of offering India attractive alternatives to Russian military hardware to further strengthen its defence partnership. While the Pentagon has not disclosed specific details about the hardware it intends to offer India on a long-term lease, it is exploring various options.

One possible avenue could involve providing India with access to advanced military technology and equipment, similar to what Russia has done in the past. For instance, Russia has leased nuclear attack submarines to India, and India has plans to lease two more such submarines soon. Additionally, in the past, India considered the possibility of leasing Russian nuclear strategic bombers, such as the Tu-22M, for its navy.

The United States aims to offer India a compelling proposition that aligns with its strategic interests and fosters a stronger defence partnership. By exploring long-term lease arrangements for military hardware, the United States seeks to address India’s defence needs while ensuring that the strategic balance in the region is maintained. These efforts represent a significant step in expanding military cooperation between the two countries while providing India with alternatives to its traditional defence suppliers.

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