News / Asia

Russia, France, US Eye Indian Defense Contracts

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets Indian Air Force commanders at the start of the annual combined commanders conference of the armed forces in New Delhi, 13 Sep 2010
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets Indian Air Force commanders at the start of the annual combined commanders conference of the armed forces in New Delhi, 13 Sep 2010

In the next two months, India will host the presidents of the United States, France and Russia. On the sidelines of the visits will be deals and discussions on arms contracts worth billions of dollars.  

All three presidential visits to New Delhi - those of U.S. President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev - are expected to see some lobbying for lucrative defense contracts which India will hand out in the coming years.

The high-profile visits come at a time when India's defense sector is overhauling its military hardware.  Rahul Bedi at Jane's Defense Weekly in New Delhi says the scale of the purchases will be massive.    

"Over the next two years or three years, India has allocated over $30 billion for weapon procurement and modernization of its military, and this figure is likely to go up to about 80 or 90 billion by 2021 or 2022," said Bedi.

President Obama's early November visit is expected to emphasize a growing strategic relationship between the two countries.

With defense ties on the upswing, India - which once mainly relied on Russian military hardware - is buying military equipment from the United States.  Since 2002, these purchases have added up to some $10 billion.

Negotiations are also underway for the largest ever deal between the two countries - the purchase of 10 Boeing military transport planes for $ 5.8 billion.

But India's reluctance to sign three pacts which are required under U.S. domestic law for transfer of sensitive defense technology is proving to be a hurdle in sales of high-tech weaponry, according to Rahul Bedi of Jane's Defense Weekly.

"India is a little hesitant because it believes these pacts are very intrusive and they are likely to be looked at very negatively by other Indian [government] allies and other partners, but that precludes the transfer of high technology," said Bedi.    

Negotiations are underway between the two countries to ease restrictions for sale of high-tech weapons.

Political observers say the challenge for the United States is not just to win arms contracts in India, but to upgrade its military relationship with India.  Improving defense ties is a priority for both countries.  India is wary of Beijing's growing military strength.  Washington sees India as a counterweight to a rising China.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will also be eyeing potential defense deals, when he visits New Delhi in early December. Talks are underway on a $2 billion deal for the modernization of Mirage jets.

The Russian president's visit, in late December, will witness the signing of India's largest military contract to date - an agreement worth $30 billion to co-produce stealth-technology fighter jets.

All three countries are also in the race to win one of the most sought after contracts which India is to hand out:  an $11 billion deal for 126 fighter jets.  Among the six companies vying for the deal are Boeing and Lockheed Martin from the United States, Dassault from France and Russia's MiG-35.


You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs