Wednesday, November 2, 2011

US-India- co-development of armaments, JSF and much more ......

U.S.-India Security Cooperation  - A look into the U.S. Department of Defense Report to Congress

Neelam Mathews
Nov 2, 2011

“As our relationship continues to mature, we expect co-development of armaments to become a reality,” says a report by the U.S. Department of Defense to Congress.

Another head swinger is that the report says the United States is committed to providing India with top-of-the-line technology for the  Joint Strike Fighter and Potential Co-Development of Military Weapons Systems.

“India has demonstrated its interest in upgrading its inventory of fighter aircraft. It intends to purchase 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft and is working with Russia on the development of the Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). The U.S. F-16 and F-18 competed, but were not down-selected, in the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition in April 2011. Despite this setback, 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.

 “Armaments cooperation is a key component of our defense engagement with India.......

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.India’s capabilities in technology are rapidly improving, particularly in the private sector. In the defense sector, India has over 50 defense laboratories in the Defense 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.

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…” says the report.

As India continues its military modernization. the Department of Defense, along with the Departments of State and Commerce, will advocate for U.S. solutions to Indian defense needs. 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.

On U.S.-India Security Cooperation, the report says over the next five years, “we will continue to build the support structures necessary to ensure the maturation of a robust and mutually beneficial defense relationship with India in the Asia-Pacific and globally. We will advance the defense relationship by deepening people-to-people ties through  continued military-to-military engagements, implementing agreed upon cooperation and pursuing new avenues of collaboration with particular emphasis on maritime security and counterterrorism activities, and expanding defense trade and armaments cooperation.

Combined Exercises are also being with a focus on counterterrorism, maritime security, and HA/DR across all of the Services.

“We expect India’s importance to U.S. interests to grow in the long-run as India, a major regional and emerging global power, increasingly assumes roles commensurate with its position as a stakeholder and a leader in the international system.”

More excerpts-

Since 2002, India has signed over 20 Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cases for defense articles and services such as C-17 and C-130J aircraft, TPQ-37 radars, Self-  or-Fuzed Weapons, and carrier flight and test pilot school training.

“In less than a decade, and starting at zero, we have seen the FMS program grow to a combined total case value of approximately $6 billion……………..we view defense sales as a mechanism to enable new training and exchange opportunities between our militaries.

The U.S. Navy would like to work with the Indian Navy to improve capabilities to perform higher-end, operational missions in the Indian Ocean region as the strategic context dictates. Naval aviation, both maritime surveillance and carrier, provides immediate opportunities for this type of cooperation. Amphibious operations is another viable area in which to increase cooperation and capabilities.

“We could also exchange information on future capacity building plans during defense bilateral meetings to ensure regional capacity building efforts with third countries are complementary.

The 2005 New Framework Agreement provides the structure for the U.S.-India defense relationship. The Defense Policy Group (DPG), chaired by the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and the Indian Defense Secretary, is at the apex of the bilateral defense relationship. The 2011 DPG prioritized maritime security, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR), and counterterrorism cooperation. “Under the DPG umbrella, we have seven subgroups to discuss and advance defense trade, service-to-service cooperation, technical cooperation, and technology security. Additional framework agreements help guide interactions in key areas such as maritime security and counterterrorism. The 2006 Indo-U.S. Framework for Maritime Security Cooperation signaled our intent to cooperate against a wide range of maritime threats, including: transnational crime (piracy, smuggling, and trafficking); maritime proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; threats to safety of ships, crew, and property (safety of navigation, search and rescue); environmental degradation; and natural disasters.

The U.S.-India Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative (CCI), signed on July 23, 2010, further calls on our countries’ coast guards and navies to increase exchanges on maritime security and cooperate in addressing maritime threats like piracy and terrorism.

U.S.-India military exercises have grown dramatically in size, scope and sophistication. There are regular exercises across all services. In FY11, there were 56 cooperative events across all Services – more than India conducted with any other country. In 2010, the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) and the Indian Integrated Defense Staff (IDS) conducted the inaugural Joint Exercise India (JEI) tabletop exercise in Alaska.

JEI may include a command post exercise in 2012.

Naval cooperation between the U.S  and India helped to lay the groundwork for military-to-military cooperation and the exercises continue to evolve in complexity. The two navies conduct four exercises annually: MALABAR, HABU NAG (naval aspects of amphibious operations), SPITTING COBRA (explosive ordnance destruction focus), and SALVEX (diving and salvage). MALABAR is the premier annual bilateral maritime exercise conducted to reinforce maritime tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of both nations. In alternate years, MALABAR has been a multinational exercise, in the past including the navies of Japan, Australia, and Singapore.

The U.S. Coast Guard, with the support of the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, has also recently begun engagement and training with the Indian Coast Guard.

The U.S. Army’s engagement with India centers on the annual YUDH ABHYAS exercise. Conceived in 2001, YUDH ABHYAS exercising commenced in 2004 – the first year our conventional armies exercised together in India since 1962. YUDH ABHYAS has expanded.

The C-130Js delivered beginning in February 2011 are the first U.S. military aircraft in half a century and have been delivered to India. As part of that sale, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) trained more than 100 Indian Air Force personnel – including pilots, loadmasters, and maintenance staff. Once the C-17 contract is fulfilled, India will operate the second largest fleet of C-17s in the world.

The former USS TRENTON, which was transferred to the Indian Navy in 2007 and christened the INS JALASHWA, has helped the Indian Navy expand its amphibious and expeditionary warfare capabilities.

The United States and India continue to seek ways to educate each other on our respective procurement and acquisition systems to enable further compatibility. We are working to find ways to adopt processes that will improve efficiency and make it easier for us to cooperate on defense trade. Over the past seven years, we have sent mobile training teams to India to present courses on the FMS process. U.S. defense personnel also participated in international acquisition seminars hosted by think tanks affiliated with the Indian Ministry of Defense.

Relationship building between U.S. and Indian defense personnel is one of DoD’s highest priorities for the U.S.-India defense relationship. To take one example, the U.S. and Indian Air Forces currently maintain a standing T-38/Kiran instructor pilot exchange between Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi and AFS Hakimpet in Hyderabad, India.


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