17 Critical Defence Technologies India Look UpTo US During Parrikar's Visit

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with
US Secretary, Department of Defence Dr. Ashton Carter
(File Photo: PIB)
Shailesh Kumar,
New Delhi 09 December 2015
Manohar Parrikar, defence minister of India, is currently on US visit. He will be shortly meeting with his US counterpart, Secretary of Defence,  Dr. Ashton Carter. A business delegation adds fervor to the bonhomie between the two nations. During bilateral talks, while India would eagerly anticipate to cut the cake with 17 critical US defence technologies to boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make In India' Program through Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI); US expects India to sign 3 crucial defence pacts namely LSA, CISMOA and BECA.  

The historic meet would see how America responds to India's demand of technology transfer in a changing geo-strategic scenario. The 17 critical technologies, if transferred, could change India's Defence Sector once and for all. "It is a big thing for private sector, which entered into the foray only in 2001. But since then trust deficit persisted. But Modi Government is endeavoring to reduce the trust deficit. For the first time a business delegation is also part of the defence minister's visit", says Laxman Behera, a research fellow at India's leading think tank- IDSA.

According to highly placed sources India anticipate US to give General Electric F414 INS-6 engine for Tejas Mk-II fighter jet. This engine has a thrust vector of 118 KN much more than 90 KN generated by GE F404 IN-20 engine currently assembled in LCA Tejas Mk-I. This technology up-gradation would make the indigenous Tejas a fourth generation aircraft in true sense as it is thrust vector which make a difference in battle field. 

Besides, India eyes game changing cutting edge military technologies like gas turbine engine, nuclear propulsion technology for indigenous aircraft carrier and electro-magnetic aircraft launch system. Out of the 17 technologies, 12 belong to American Industry, 4 of US Government and 1 is joint collaboration in R&D. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, FoC-in-C of Southern Naval Command represents Indian Navy in the defence minister's delegation.  

"India also eye advance anti-UAV technology. The MALE and HALE class UAV technology can give a flip to India's Rustam-I and Rustam-II projects. Advanced smart weapons like Raytheon Paveway IV LGB, ship based point defence system, joint production of 115 and KN gas turbine engines and nuclear propulsion technology tops in relevance of  Ministry of Defence's DTTI's perception", says Brigadier (Retd.) Arun Sehgal, a leading defence expert in India.

India and America also negotiating Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Source and Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Protective gear amongst next gen projects. 

By collaborating with India in Technology Transfer, America is trying to re-balance its strategy in Asia-Pacific aiming at China. The biggest issue in Transfer of Technology (ToT) is that India is a non-NATO country and its not an ally of America as such. The American laws does not permit direct ToT to any such country without having signed some foundation agreements. 

America wants India to ink at least three pacts namely the Logistic Support Agreement (LSA), Communication Interoperability And Security Memorandum Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchaneg and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). India has so far not inclined to sign these agreements until Modi Government came to power. 

G. Balachandran, a distinguished fellow at IDSA elaborates, "America is asking India to sign these three pacts since last 3-4 years. LSA is being signed by 110 countries. It means when you will give fuel, you will not take payment; but you will have to pay for the fuel whenever you take; we will adjust. We have yet not signed these Agreements".

India is shy of signing these pacts but strategic experts believe if India wants the ToT happen then she has to sign the pacts as American law otherwise don't allow ToT. "Indian political perception is that if we sign these Agreements then American intrusiveness will increase in Indian system. In a way, we will be dependent on America. You are aware about Russian issue, when it broke away from Soviet Union, we faced ammunition and spare parts supply crunch. To remove such hurdles, other means are being considered", explains Brigadier Sehgal. 

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of India in May this year has cleared Rs. 4,450 crore defence deals mainly to purchase 155 mm M 777 Howitzar manufactured by BAE Systems of America. The portable titanium artillery gun can dismantle enemy targets upto 40 kilometers deep inside enemy territory if fitted with GPS guided munition. It can be carried anywhere in a truck or a chopper and need just 5 jawans to operate. BAE Systems is likely to find a partner in this visit as delegation includes big shots from Indian industry. Lt. General S. Saha, DGMO in Indian Army is part of the official delegation. DRDO will get the maximum boost if ToT happens. Dr. Sudarshan Kumar, Chief controller (R&D) of DRDO also accompanying the defence minister.  

Pakistan seems to be under severe pressure from America as in recent year America has shifted its focus from Pakistan to India. Though America is supplying some military gadgets including 8 more F-16 fighters but strategist believe that is for American strategic needs in Afghanistan, Waziristan and Pakistan. All eyes as of now is on the meeting as it will certainly boost much hyped "Make In India". India is destined to become a super power and hence need new collaboration and new initiative.

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17 Critical Defence Technologies India Look UpTo US During Parrikar's Visit 17 Critical Defence Technologies India Look UpTo US During Parrikar's Visit Reviewed by Shailesh Kumar on 11:04:00 AM Rating: 5
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