SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.
With a focus on reducing Indian dependency on Russian hardware, Pentagon has been pushing the Biden administration to elevate the Indian position to levels as same to close allies like Israel and Japan in terms of access to US-made Military hardware as per the latest media reports.
The US in February surprised Indian military planners when it brought Two F-35A to India at the Aero India 2023 Airshow indirectly making a pitch for the sale of 5th Gen fighter jet even though India had not expressed interest in the program.
Without naming India, Lately, Pentagon has been pitching the sale of F-35 to countries around China to increase synergies between both airforces, even though both Japan and South Korea are operating F-35 jets and the pitch seemed to be made to India.
Pentagon is watching Indian Military requirements close and is working to offer top-of-the-line military hardware that is usually procured from Russia. The United States might allow General Dynamics Land Systems to bid on Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCVs) under which Indian Army wants to procure 1700 Medium-category tanks to replace ageing and now vulnerable T-72 tanks.
Past Sale Pitches
A few years back, to avoid India procuring S-400 systems from Russia, the United States had given clearance to Isreal for the export of the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missiles and also offered its own Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), an anti-ballistic missile defence system and MIM-104 Patriot, a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.
Focus on Joint Projects.
India and the United States are also working jointly on the development of an Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV) that can be launched from Cargo/ Transport aircraft that will be tested later this year.
Pentagon has cleared General Electric proposals to locally make in India based on its baseline F414 engines for India’s AMCA fighter jet program that waits for final approval from the Biden administration. GE plans to make this engine under its local subsidiary with a full transfer of Technology to its local subsidiary while it adds Indian Private sector companies to its global supply chain command.
Eye on Future
India’s quest for next-generation weapons systems is also under Pentagon’s Radar as India’s interest in acquiring next-generation systems to improve its space-based Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Operations for which it might allow further dual-use systems that could be used to develop payloads for such programs.
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