In­dia un­der Modi en­gages with Ger­many


The Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has ex­celled on many fronts, but the most no­tice­able is his en­gage­ment with dif­fer­ent pow­ers of the world. The lat­est be­ing In­dia-Ger­many ties which are get­ting trans­formed, thanks to the lead­er­ship of the two coun­tries. The Ger­man Chan­cel­lor, Dr An­gela Merkel, was in In­dia dur­ing the first week of Oc­to­ber and the two set off a new di­rec­tion to the Indo-Ger­man co­op­er­a­tion ef­forts.

Though the Ger­man De­fence Min­is­ter was not part of the del­e­ga­tion, the two coun­tries nev­er­the­less held the de­fence con­sul­ta­tion un­der the rubric of the Inter-Govern­men­tal Con­sul­ta­tions (IGC). The IGC com­prised of sub­jects like econ­omy and trade, cli­mate change, science and tech­nol­ogy co­op­er­a­tion, en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion, skills de­vel­op­ment, etc. The de­fence con­sul­ta­tion was held at the level of Min­is­ters of State on both sides dur­ing which they dis­cussed the bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in joint re­search and de­vel­op­ment and the ‘Make in In­dia’ pro­gramme.

Ger­many had lost the race to grab the grow­ing In­dian de­fence mar­ket to the French, the Amer­i­cans, the Is­raelis and the Rus­sians. The Ger­mans now want to re­join the race and is tak­ing keen in­ter­est in In­dian Navy’s sub­ma­rine con­struc­tion pro­gramme.

Ger­many has evinced in­ter­est in the In­dian Navy’s six sub­ma­rine pro­grammes, un­der the Project 75I, which are to be ac­quired through the ‘Make in In­dia’ route. Ger­man com­pany, ThyssenKrupp AG is said to be in dis­cus­sion with the Anil Am­bani-led Reliance group to part­ner in build­ing up pos­si­ble 12 sub­marines, the full con­tract may run into the range of over ` 1,00,000 crore. The Reliance group has set up the Reliance De­fence Sys­tems which is a sub­sidiary of Reliance In­fra­struc­ture, which holds 18 per cent stake in Pi­pavav De­fence and Off­shore Engi­neer­ing.

This en­gage­ment comes close on the heels of In­dia sign­ing up a deal for Apache and Chi­nook he­li­copters from the US. In SP’s Exclusives, we have de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on what th­ese two chop­pers will be like for the In­dian armed forces.

The In­dian Air Force (IAF) cel­e­brated its 83rd an­niver­sary, show­ing its air power across the coun­try. The Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Mar­shal Arup Raha an­nounced that plans are afoot to in­duct women pi­lots into the fighter stream of the IAF. So far, 94 women pi­lots and 14 women nav­i­ga­tors are re­stricted to fly trans­port air­craft and he­li­copters.

In this is­sue, we have a re­port by Lt Gen­eral V.K. Kapoor (Retd) on the joint ex­er­cise In­dia and China had re­cently. The ex­er­cise called ‘Hand-in-Hand’ is all a part of the con­fi­dence build­ing mea­sures which have been in­sti­tuted in the past few years to over­come the ‘trust deficit’ be­tween the two coun­tries.

While th­ese en­gage­ments are sig­nif­i­cant in the con­text of global peace, strate­gic col­lab­o­ra­tions, en­hanc­ing trade pacts, etc, it must be men­tioned that the Prime Min­is­ter is on a mis­sion.

One event that will fur­ther en­hance In­dian Navy’s im­age is the up­com­ing In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­view (IFR) which is slated to be held in Fe­bru­ary 2016, with over 50 navies of the world par­tic­i­pat­ing. There is spec­u­la­tion that In­dia’s first in­dige­nously con­structed nu­clear pow­ered sub­ma­rine INS Ari­hant will be com­mis­sioned dur­ing the IFR.

Be­sides th­ese we have the reg­u­lar de­part­ments fo­cus­ing on dif­fer­ent as­pects con­cern­ing mil­i­tary, aero­space, se­cu­rity and other al­lied ar­eas which give an insight into global sup­ply chain.

Happy read­ing!

Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

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