Defence sales test for Kerry

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Neil, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    New Delhi, June 22: John Kerry, the US secretary of state, who is arriving here on Sunday for the most comprehensive American dialogue with this country since Barack Obama’s re-election as President, knows what he wants from his India trip.

    A compulsorily drafted soldier in Vietnam who fought without suspending disbelief, his first brush with political activism was at age 27. Returning from Vietnam, he threw away his military decorations over a Capitol fence in Washington and then testified before the US Congress against the war, the first Vietnam veteran to do so.

    Kerry believes that he would have been in Obama’s seat had George W. Bush’s hatchetmen not robbed him of victory in Ohio through voter suppression and fraud in the 2004 election.

    This was obvious even yesterday when a senior Kerry aide, in a monumental slip of the tongue, said in a conference call to Washington-based reporters that “he is going (to India) for the first round of the strategic dialogue under the Kerry administration here”.

    In the US, administrations take the name of the President, not the cabinet member who heads a department. Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton, who directly fought against Obama and lost in the 2008 presidential primaries — or any of her aides, for that matter — never talked about a Hillary Clinton administration with reference to her state department or in any other context.

    All the same, Kerry is a loyal member of Obama’s team and his wholesale effort during a two-day stay in New Delhi will be to take forward what Obama started with India during his visit here in 2010.

    The Obama administration believes that the key objective of the President’s visit two-and-a-half years ago remains unfulfilled. That objective was to create more jobs for Americans through increased trade and other economic interactions with India at a time the US economy was still reeling from the financial meltdown of 2008.

    Of all the disappointments that the White House has felt about tardy progress in building an all-round and comprehensive partnership with New Delhi, the biggest disenchantment has been in defence trade.

    When India rejected US bids for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft in favour of European bids and eventually settled for French Rafale planes, American disappointment reached its zenith. The aircraft deal, which is soon expected to be completed with France’s Dassault Aviation, will be the biggest military aviation contract in the history of mankind.

    In a clear sign that the Americans are by no means giving up on their quest for a bigger slice of India’s defence market, Kerry is bringing along with him Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the US Pacific Command, located in Hawaii.

    Locklear cannot, of course, procure defence contracts for American companies, but he can do much by way of preparing the ground which makes US supply offers look attractive to the Indian military establishment.

    The admiral, for instance, is expected to make an offer in New Delhi that the Indian military establishment cannot turn down. This involves letting Indian forces use on a trial basis American equipment that is normally not given to non-treaty partners.

    The expectation in Washington is that once the Indian military tries out these state-of-the-art weapons systems and technology, they will get so hooked on them that India will consider the US defence supply chain as a priority.

    The Pentagon and US defence manufacturers are aware that India’s men in uniform were solidly behind a decision by the civilian leadership of the defence ministry to favour non-American bidders for the 126 combat planes.

    What went against the Americans in the medium multi-role combat aircraft deal was mainly their unwillingness to give India up-to-date technology because of US laws restricting such technology for countries like India.

    If next week’s strategic dialogue pulls off the initiative that Locklear is likely to offer, it will mark a refreshing change in US attitudes to weapons supplies. The Americans have often looked at their military sales as favours for friends and allies even when those friends and allies are buyers paying for every bit of equipment.

    Americans have mastered the art of making their needs look like an obligation on the part of buyers of armaments. India is probably America’s first weapons customer to turn down US equipment on the ground that they do not meet the bar set by a buyer’s military in terms of standards and quality.

    Washington is frustrated and annoyed that, additionally, such a stand has got political backing here in the government’s refusal to sign several “foundational” agreements with Washington which may restrict an arms buyer’s autonomy in the use of equipment.

    The Obama administration was initially surprised by this position, conveyed by defence minister A.K. Antony to his US counterparts, but its need to sell to India and create jobs back home has prompted out-of-the-box thinking in Washington.

    It is not clear how much of what Locklear tells his interlocutors here in the next two days will be made public because of fears that it may run foul of the US Congress. Under American laws, foreign military sales have to be notified to the US Congress and there are other mandatory procedures that are cumbersome and very bureaucratic.

    The innovative offer to let India test US weapons systems without actually placing orders is the outcome of year-long discussions between deputy defence secretary Ashton Carter and national security adviser Shivshankar Menon on overcoming hindrances in American legislation that prevented India from buying state-of-the-art weapons and technology from the US.

    Carter was mandated by former defence secretary Leon Panetta to address reasons why India was reluctant to buy more American weapons and find ways to overcome such reluctance.

    It is understood that Carter has told his Indian interlocutors that the Americans are now ready to co-produce with India Hawk missiles, 117mm guns, vertical mines and multi-role naval helicopters as a confidence-building measure in transfer of technology on which the US has been tight-fisted.

    At one stage of the preparations for the strategic dialogue, the idea of incorporating such progress in bilateral defence cooperation was considered. But it was then abandoned as too risky in view of the publicity stakes for the Americans.


    Defence sales test for Kerry
     
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  3. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    hawk missiles...::

    [​IMG]


    a phased out missile as CBM ... thats some out of box thinking ...!!:rofl:
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Good going. I always have favored India and US developing closer defence and strategic ties. But then India has to leverage it politically particularly what's happening in the region in AfPak. Dangle $10 billion deals and ask for favors in return
     
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  5. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Don't tell me we are going for the Stryker APC, the C-17 and C-130 are good but then what is there more on defence tickets?
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    C17,C130,P8 follow on orders. Apache, Chinook deals as well. Light Howitzers.
     
  7. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes but nothing new ? all these deals were already in the pipeline

    Is there any new hardware India might be interested in?
     
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  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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  9. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    Flood Rescue Underscores 2 Pending IAF Deals

    The massive flood relief operations in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand has seen the Indian Air Force and Army Aviation corps deployed in the greatest strength since the 2004 tsunami in the Indian ocean. 45 Indian Air Force aircraft, 11 choppers from the Army, and a small fleet of civilian rotorcraft are working round the clock -- and against time -- to evacuate the most hostile areas of stranded pilgrims and tourists, a week after the state was ravaged by early monsoon flashfloods and torrential rain. The situation remains critical, but the one thing it has done is underscore the importance of two contracts in the pipeline by the IAF as being well worth the time and money that will be spent.

    The first is the Lockheed-Martin C-130J Super Hercules. The IAF has three flying out there, landing on short airfields in bad weather -- something it wouldn't do with any of its other transports -- conducting all manner of relief, including personnel insertion, standby hospital services, fuel delivery, evacuation of patients and pilgrims, reconnaissance, surveillance and disaster mapping. The Uttarakhand flood has been the C-130Js first real trial by fire over Indian terrain. For pilots of the 77 Squadron which operates six out of Hindon on Delhi's outskirts, the aircraft is a joy, and they can't wait to get six more. The Indian government is in the final stages of placing an order for six more from the US government.

    The second is the IAF's selection of the Boeing CH-47F Chinook. The IAF has a lot of helicopters over Uttarakhand right now, but only one heavylift Mi-26, possibly the only airframe still serviceable. The IAF chose the Chinook over a new generation variant of the Mi-26 in a competitive selection that ended last year. The Mi-26, a glorious chopper that happens to be the largest ever that went into production, is still gravely unsuited for operations in mountainous areas, where its large footprint severely limits where it can hover and land. It's immense downwash is also a problem during emergency evacuations. IAF pilots I've been speaking to say they can't wait till the Chinooks arrive, since their design and capabilities lend perfectly to rescue and relief operations in tricky terrain in all weather.


    Livefist

    hopefully the deals gets signed during the visit....
     
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  10. Payeng

    Payeng Daku Mongol Singh

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    Why, the EMALS? or just the steam catapults :okay:
     
  11. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Well, they again dangled the Javelin carrot in front of IA last week by demonstrating 5 out of 5 hits... They even let IA fire 3 out of the 5!

    Maybe trying to persuade us to buy those without ToT...

     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  12. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    lets see the naval helicopter designs they are going to offer
    but some thing unexpected from us-TOT??
    or is it a pseudo tot??

    lets wait a
     
  13. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    John Kerry’s India visit to herald clutch of military hardware deals with US | idrw.org

    how many C130 j in total are we ordering then....??
     
  14. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Would be great if produced in country..

    Specifically M777, import of guns are useless once they are destroyed and need to be replaced in very short time..

     
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  15. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Would IA be able to use captured Pak or Chinese equipment, and is there training in place for that event?
     
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  16. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    They are taken as trophies, Never use them..

     
  17. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    Looking at it's utility & reliability, IAF seems very impressed with C-130J . IAF would like to have them at least 20 to 30 more apart from BSF & other forces are also interested in it.

    It will be better , if we can negotiate with US to start a prodution line for C-130J-30 in India as part of offset etc..
     
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