In­dia-US part­ner­ship on sound foot­ing

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

With the Naren­dra Modi Gov­ern­ment com­ing to power in 2014, the bi­lat­eral and strate­gic re­la­tion­ship with the United States of Amer­ica has got trans­formed into a dy­namic one with in­creased en­gage­ments at not just the gov­ern­ment level but also at the in­dus­try level. In the area of de­fence, there is re­newed en­thu­si­asm on the part of the US com­pa­nies. They be­lieve that they could help In­dia in its quest of be­com­ing not only an in­dige­nous de­fence equip­ment pro­duc­ing coun­try but also be­ing ca­pa­ble of ex­port­ing. There seems to be lot more will­ing­ness on the part of the US com­pa­nies to trans­fer tech­nol­ogy and make the Prime Min­is­ter’s ini­tia­tive come true.

In con­tin­u­a­tion of that part­ner­ship, the Min­is­ter of De­fence Manohar Par­rikar will be vis­it­ing the United States next month to build on the al­ready deep en­gage­ment be­tween the two sides in de­fence and strate­gic arena. It is sig­nif­i­cant that the visit has been sched­uled within six months of the visit to New Delhi of the US Sec­re­tary of De­fense Ashton Carter in June this year dur­ing which the path for long-term de­fence and strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween the two largest democ­ra­cies had al­ready been cleared. Par­rikar’s visit is ex­pected to pro­pel the Indo-US re­la­tion­ship to a new level.

The visit is tak­ing place on the back of re­ported US de­ci­sion to sell F-16s and Bell AH-1Z Viper at­tack he­li­copters to Pak­istan. This US de­ci­sion has irked In­dia as it in­tends to rearm In­dia’s arch ri­val with so­phis­ti­cated mil­i­tary air­craft which cer­tainly are not meant for use against ter­ror­ists or the Tal­iban. US arms sup­plied to Pak­istan have al­ways been used against In­dia and once again the Pak­istani army has been suc­cess­ful in black­mail­ing the US lead­ers, writes Ran­jeet Ku­mar.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est US Con­gres­sional Re­port, the Pen­tagon has cleared mil­i­tary hard­ware worth $5.4 bil­lion af­ter the 9/11 ter­ror­ist at­tack on the US De­fense Head­quar­ters in Wash­ing­ton DC and the World Trade Cen­ter in New York. This in­cludes the so­phis­ti­cated F-16 fight­ers. In­ter­est­ingly, the mil­i­tary hard­ware were sup­plied to Pak­istan in the 10-year frame­work, for which the logic given was that Is­lam­abad needs ca­pac­ity build­ing to fight ter­ror­ists in its border ar­eas.

US thus is en­gag­ing both the na­tions dif­fer­ently. For the US com­pa­nies In­dia is a huge mar­ket. US aero­space and de­fence be­he­moth, Boe­ing is con­sol­i­dat­ing its re­la­tion­ship with In­dia, hav­ing been the coun­try’s part­ner in progress for nearly 70 years now. The re­cent wins by Boe­ing in In­dia – for 22 AH-64E Apache at­tack he­li­copters and 15 CH-47F Chi­nook heavy-lift he­li­copters – have put the arc lights on the US ma­jor.

Sim­i­larly Thales is look­ing at more en­gage­ment with In­dia. Pa­trick Mal­lon, Chief Tech­nol­o­gist and Se­nior Thales Ex­pert of Mis­sile Sys­tems, in an in­ter­view has talked about the com­pany’s ‘Go to In­dia’ ap­proach. Thales has been co­op­er­at­ing with the In­dian pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­u­larly large cor­po­rate play­ers and SMEs to build trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy and sup­ply chain part­ner­ships.

Mean­while, WASS has pointed out that the gov­ern­ment should hon­our the ap­proved ten­ders and en­sure that ‘Make in In­dia’ is truly ‘Make in In­dia’ and not back­door en­try of play­ers who have lost out on ten­ders.

There is a lot to think about. Happy read­ing!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.