News / Asia

India Emerges as Largest Foreign Customer of US Arms

Students gather by an inactive fighter aircraft on display at a Sainik School, or military school, in Goalpara, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Aug. 8, 2014.Students gather by an inactive fighter aircraft on display at a Sainik School, or military school, in Goalpara, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Aug. 8, 2014.
x
Students gather by an inactive fighter aircraft on display at a Sainik School, or military school, in Goalpara, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Aug. 8, 2014.
Students gather by an inactive fighter aircraft on display at a Sainik School, or military school, in Goalpara, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, Aug. 8, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha

India has emerged as the world’s largest arms buyer in recent years, but hopes to reverse this by strengthening its domestic defense industry. The United States was India’s largest arms supplier in recent years, dislodging Russia as New Delhi’s principal source of weapons.
 
Defense Minister Arun Jaitley told parliament that India bought arms worth nearly $5.5 billion from the United States in the last three years, surpassing purchases from Russia worth about $4 billion during the same period.
 
According to Rahul Bedi at IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly in New Delhi, more deals with Washington are in the pipeline.

“There are two contracts for helicopters, attack helicopters and heavy lift helicopters, which the U.S. has secured over Russian platforms, they were pitted against Russian helicopters, and that is worth another $2.5 billion, so the American kitty seems to be growing," Bedi said.
 
In recent years, India has been trying to diversify its arms purchases to move away from its huge dependency on weapons from Moscow, its Cold War ally.
 
Shift toward production, technology

New defense deals with the U.S. are expected to focus on projects that will transfer production and technology know-how to India, as New Delhi tries to boost local production of high technology weapons.
 
The government last week raised foreign investment in the defense sector from 26 percent to 49 percent, hoping to woo foreign arms manufacturers. 

India’s failure to build a domestic military industry has made it the world’s top buyer of weapons. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country must lower dependence on imports.
 
On a recent visit to India to deepen military cooperation, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicated that the U.S. is willing to move from buying and selling arms to co-production and co-development.  
 
 “This has been an area of great contention between India and the U.S., " Bedi said, noting that freer exchange of technology will benefit India. "But the recent visit of U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined about 10 technologies which they were willing to transfer to India and technologies that India is in need of. But nothing has been concluded and there is a lot of negotiation left, but it seems as if the U.S. is more amenable to transfer technology to India and that is good for India’s local industry."
 
Among the weapons on offer for technology sharing is the anti-tank Javelin missile. The U.S. has called it an “unprecedented offer.”
 
Defense analysts say the U.S has increased its presence in India’s defense market due to two reasons: despite some ups and downs, strategic relations between the two countries have improved, as India is seen as a counterbalance to China. Also, in the last two decades, analysts say, Russia became an unreliable supplier, often missing deadlines and raising costs.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid