US committed to cooperation with India through DTTI
The Dollar Business Bureau The Government of India’s growing efforts towards stronger relations with the United States, is signaling a shift-away of its defence co-operation towards the United States from erstwhile Russia. The latest reports say that India is keen on importing the US state-of-the-art Aircraft Carrier Technology to boost the Indian Navy. A proposal to this effect was supposedly raised in a joint statement at the end of Obama’s recent visit to India, say the sources. According to a report from the Indian Defence & Research Wing (IDRW), Ashton Carter, a top US defence official and Obama’s nominee for US Defence Secretary was quoted to have said, “If confirmed, I will take a stronger interest in strengthening US-India ties and a great deal could be done to expand military and defence cooperation.” Referring to Obama’s visit to India last month, Carter said that the US President announced four pathfinder projects under Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), a working group on aircraft carrier cooperation and the possibility of cooperating on Jet Engine Technology. The US Department of Defence remains committed to technological cooperation with India through the DTTI, he said. He further said the US would seek to facilitate cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan and encourage Indo-Pak communication, as these relationships will continue to be vital to stability in the region. Meanwhile, the Indian defence sources feel that this US-enabled-Indian-aircraft on cards is likely the one that Modi firstly endorsed in 2014, referring to it as the country’s largest one to be built with the US technology. “India is in the midst of a major military modernisation effort - undertaken by all three military services - to address problems with its ageing equipment and to better posture itself to defend against both Pakistan and China," says Lt Gen Vincent R Stewart, Director of Defense Intelligence Agency, according to a report from Indian Defence news site. Lastly in 2014, India inducted an old aircraft carrier from Russia adding it to already-existing British aircraft that is expected to be decommissioned in 2018. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report states that the USA, with its defence exports to India amounting to around $981 million, climbed to the second position next to Russia in CY2013, pushing Israel to the third position. Now, the supposed deal and the growing US-India relation will not only alter the level of Indo-Russia defence trade, but will also pose a serious challenge to China’s expanding presence in the Indian Ocean and will also impact India’s strategic relations with the South Asian nations in trade aspects.
This article was published on February 5, 2015.