Thursday, January 21, 2010

India Vacillates On Military Pacts With U.S

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
January 21, 2009

NEW DELHI — India’s unwillingness to sign the long-gestating
Logistics Support Agreement and the Communications, Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)with the U.S. has prompted U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to remark: “On the U.S. side, we have not done a good job spelling out [the] benefits of signing these agreements.”
The agreements “have been lying for quite some time now,” Gates said Jan. 20. “They were put on the table in 2002. It is not a new requirement but has been known for some time. CISMOA will allow [our] defense relationship to expand significantly
by increasing interoperability and security of communication equipment.
“I see these [pacts] as enablers to allow defense trade ... as it will lead to great interoperability for our forces to work together, whether in relief or security operations,” Gates said.
Gates was on a two-day visit to India devoted to furthering the U.S.-India defense relationship, as well as larger strategic issues.
Signing CISMOA is mandatory if some platform-specific U.S. equipment is ordered by India. While it depends on what actual equipment will fall under the agreement, India’s delaying is bound to antagonize U.S. companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing that are bidding for large military contracts in the country,including the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft program.
The Indian military feels the agreements are intrusive, and that the U.S. will want to verify Indian equipment under the guise of interoperability.
Gates said part of the growing relationship between the U.S. and India has been the sale of high-tech weapons and equipment.
CISMOA would allow U.S. cryptologic information to be transferred along with the six C-130Js that India has bought, Gates said, as well as navigational capability and targeting.
The C-130Js are intended for air mobility and special operations.
Last year, India became the first international buyer to include
an electro-optic/infrared sensor suite following a $7.1 million
contract to equip the C-130Js with AAQ-22 Star Safire III EO/IR sensors.
Deliveries are scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2011. It is not clear what will transpire if the CISMOA is not signed.
- Neelam Mathews (

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