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US wants to Develop deeper Defense Industrial cooperation with India Print E-mail
Written by James   
Thursday, 03 November 2011
In a nine-page report to the Congress yesterday, the Pentagon has said that over the next five years, the United States will continue to establish itself as a reliable defense supplier to India.

"We recognize that India is also seeking to build its own indigenous defense industry, and is looking for the best technologies to use in its defense sector. The United States wants to develop deeper defense industrial cooperation with India, including a range of cooperative research and development activities. The United States is committed to providing India with top-of-the-line technology," the report said.

Since 2002, India has signed more than 20 Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cases for defense articles and services such as C-17 and C-130J aircraft, TPQ-37 radars, Self- Protection Suites (SPS) for VVIP aircraft, specialized tactical equipment, Harpoon missiles, Sensor-Fuzed Weapons, and carrier flight and test pilot school training.Once the C-17 contract is fulfilled, India will operate the second largest fleet of C-17s in the world.

"The Department of Defense is continually looking for ways to expand defense cooperation with India. We are seeking opportunities for increased science and technology cooperation that may lead to co-development opportunities with India as a partner," the report said.

In the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition, the U.S. F-16 and F-18 competed, but were not down-selected. "we believe U.S. aircraft, such as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), to be the best in the world. Should India indicate interest in the JSF, the United States would be prepared to provide information on the JSF and its requirements (infrastructure, security, etc.) to support India’s future planning," it added. India is currently working with Russia on the development of the Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).

According to the report, the United States has taken many steps in recent years to facilitate science and technology and research and development cooperation with India. "In so doing, we have signaled our unambiguous intent to pursue cooperative opportunities on increasingly sophisticated systems. As our relationship continues to mature, we expect co-development of armaments to become a reality."

The report notes that India’s capabilities in technology are rapidly improving, particularly in the private sector. In the defense sector, India has over fifty defense laboratories in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), presenting opportunities for collaboration over a broad range of defense technologies and systems. Naval Postgraduate School and DRDO are implementing a letter of agreement signed in February 2011 establishing an educational exchange program and joint research project program.

"To date, acquisition and technology cooperation between India and the United States has been primarily in the exchange of science and technology (S&T) information and collaboration in S&T projects. Some areas of current cooperation include power and energy, micro-aerial vehicles, situational awareness, energetics, and human effectiveness. The progress that has been made in armaments cooperation between the United States and India is notable, especially when compared to similar relationships with other countries, and given the relatively short time that the U.S.-India defense relationship has been developing," the report said.

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