SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The United States plans to expand military and technological ties with India as the Biden administration appears to concede that India will refrain from buying Russian equipment only if a similar or better system is on offer to India and this has opened up space to talks now of co-development of jet engines, drones, next-generation aircraft and naval vessels.
United States administration to stop India’s purchase of the S-400 system from Russia had offered Patriot (MIM-104), a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defence system first then upgraded its offer to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), anti-ballistic missile defence system but that failed to prevent the purchase of S-400 system since it was seen as more than meets Indian requirements and much more cost-effective then American systems on offer.
Indian officials had told American officials that Both Air defence systems on offer are simply too expensive and do not offer very long long-range interception capabilities against aerial threats like fighter jets and support aircraft like AWACS/FRA.
Pentagon officials and other American strategic experts are very much concerned about Russia’s ability to offer its top-tier systems to India and bringing the F-35, fifth generation fighter aircraft to India recently was the American way of saying that they too can offer top-tier systems if India is willing to move away from Russia.
idrw.org has been told that the American establishment had offered India to jointly develop an Air defence system which can be used as high altitude anti-ballistic missile and very long-range air defence system and recently again renewed its offer but this time with more details of the prospective system if it ever is cleared by both countries as a co-development project.
India is already working on the THAAD class of systems to take out rogue ballistic missiles and already has completed phase-1 of its Ballistic Missile Defence Program and is working on Phase-II that will be able to take out longer ballistic missiles and also be equipped on frontline warships and missile cruiser.
India is also working on the development of long-range air defence systems that can complement the Russian S-400 system but what’s on offer is a hybrid system that will offer both so that India doesn’t consider procuring more S-400 or its successor S-500 system from Russia. A system that is in class or better than what Russia can offer.
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