Strategic convergence on the cards
Defence cooperation will be at the top of the agenda during President Donald Trump visit. The partnership has moved ahead in the past few years to include key pacts on secure communication and sharing of military logistics that open the possibility of joint operations in the near future.
The Navy-Navy cooperation, in particular, has taken the front seat. On the acquisition side, India has procured the C 17 `Globemaster’ and C 130J Hercules transporters, the Apache and Chinook helicopters among other equipment from the US. The following are in an advanced stage of discussion in the near future, reports Manu Pubby.
The Indian side is moving towards signing a deal to acquire 127 mm caliber ship-mounted guns from the US under a government deal. The US Congress has approved the procurement of 13 of these for an estimated $ 1 billion. The project is being seen as a priority for the Navy that needs these for under construction destroyers. This deal, to be signed with BAE Systems, could be inked in the coming financial year.
In addition to the air force, which is inducting 22 of the Apache attack helicopters, the Army too is in line to acquire at least six, under a deal that is estimated at close to $ 930 million. The contract can be inked when budgetary provision is made available to the Army.
The National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) is designed to protect the national capital from all incoming air threats. The US State Department has this week notified its Congress of a possible sale to India, valued at $ 1.8 billion. The only hitch will be the price as the Indian side expected it to be below the $ 1 billion mark.