Namaste Trump: India’s military cooperation with the US grows, soon to touch $ 25 billion

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Updated: Feb 20, 2020 4:58 PM

India has already started receiving 15 multi-mission heavy-lift CH 4 Chinook transport helicopters and also 22 AH 64E (I) Apache helicopters.

donald trump, pm modiThe defence deals between the two countries over a decade have touched almost $ 18 billion . (File photo)

Namaste Trump: India and the US are likely to announce a major defence deal when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US President Donald Trump meet in New Delhi next week for bilateral discussion. The defence deals between the two countries over a decade have touched almost $ 18 billion and expected to touch $ 25 billion when deals in the pipeline are inked over the next few years. These deals have created jobs in the US and in India has given opportunities to the MSMEs and the private sectors to be part of a strong ecosystem.

Briefing the media ahead of the two-day state visit of the US President Donald Trump, foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said “We have procured over $18 billion worth of defence items from the US, which have enhanced our defence preparedness significantly. We conduct more bilateral exercises with each other than we do with any other country.”

Almost 70 per cent of the military hardware traditionally has been coming from Russia for the Indian Armed Forces; however, the trend has been changing gradually.

Strong Defence Relations between the two countries

Both countries have signed major agreements which include the foundational agreement for mutual logistics support — the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA); this was followed by the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) inked in 2018, and last year the two countries signed the Industrial Security Annexe. There has been huge progress on Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). And the two sides have also last December adopted the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Framework for DTTI.

India has already started receiving 15 multi-mission heavy-lift CH 4 Chinook transport helicopters and also 22 AH 64E (I) Apache helicopters. The eight Apaches from the Boeing Company are armed with the Hellfire air-to-surface missiles which are going to help the Indian Army in anti-tank capabilities.

Major progress has already been witnessed in the armed UAVs from General Atomics. The three services are keen to get ten each of the UAVs through the Foreign Military Sales route.

US-made Artillery in the Indian Army

The Indian Army has already inducted M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers of US-based BAE Systems. The deal is for 145 of M777 ULH which are being assembled in India.

.50 Calibre Sniper Rifle M95 MS Berrett from the US is coming under the ‘Buy Global’ category. As has been reported earlier, the ammunition is going to imported and subsequently will be manufactured in India.

SIG Sauer’s SiG 716 new automatic rifles are on the way for the Indian Army.

Aerospace

American companies — Boeing Company’s besides fielding F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet, has recently sought a license from its administration for pitching F-15EX for the IAF’s requirement for 110 fighter jets.

Lockheed Martin’s F-21 is also in the fray.

The Trump administration has offered Raytheon’s National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II, discussion for which is in the advanced stage.

Exercise Tiger Triumph

For the first time ever the two sides conducted tri-service military exercise.

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