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.
Jayant Baranwal Publisher & Editor-in-Chief