In major shift, DRDO looks at building arms with America

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by pmaitra, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    In major shift, DRDO looks at building arms with America

    Ajai Shukla

    India is co-developing and building missiles and military aircraft with Russia; it is co-developing missiles with Israel. But targeted American sanctions, and a Washington licence raj that stifles the outflow of military technology, has ensured that India's Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) has never co-developed weaponry with the world's most evolved and high-tech defence industry - that of the United States.

    The US, in turn - even while selling billions of dollars worth of military aircraft to India - has failed to mine the richest lode of the Ministry of Defence (MoD): Joint development contracts like the Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), which will be signed next month with a corpus of $12 billion, which could rise to over $20 billion. Or, like the $2-billion partnership between DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries to co-develop an anti-aircraft missile.

    But that seems likely to change with Washington agreeing, during the run-up to President Obama's just-concluded visit, to relax controls on technology and defence exports. Top DRDO officials now believe that, given the growing closeness between the US and India, the two defence establishments would be jointly developing high-tech military weaponry by 2020.

    DRDO's chief controller, Prahlada, told Business Standard just ahead of the US president's visit: "Within a decade, we will have major joint collaboration. Maybe in aeronautics, maybe radars… something will click. We are working with Israel and Russia in missiles; with the US, we may work on something else. Both countries are moving towards that."

    DRDO, aware of the US defence industry's technological self-sufficiency, believes India's key attraction would revolve around lowering the cost of a product through cheaper development and testing costs. And, as the US defence budget plateaus and even reduces, the assured custom from India's military would add significant economies of scale.

    DRDO's chief, V K Saraswat, is explicit about the military projects the US and India could undertake jointly. He says: "We have discussed this many times. India has an excellent base in IT, especially computer simulation, virtual reality, and robotics. In any contemporary military platform, you need command and control and communications software. We have some of the best brains in this area and we can develop these systems for both India and the US. If these Indian strengths are harnessed with American technologies, we could build the best and the cheapest military systems in the world.

    As DRDO notches up successes in high-tech fields like missiles, aerospace, electronic warfare systems and command networks, its senior officials are confident that their laboratories have much to offer. Prahlada says: "American and European companies earlier believed that the Indian defence R&D was at some lower level. But now they listen and observe because they know we have developed systems of complexity and that… if they do not work with us, we will somehow find a solution. So, that is not there. Definitely there is an improved way of looking at India."

    While the Indo-US Defence Policy Group (DPG), a joint deliberative body that meets regularly - has long provided a forum for exploring research areas, Saraswat complains that US legal restraints have hamstrung its work: "We have identified areas where we can work together. But the US legal framework - regimes such as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR); and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) - require many permissions and raise legal issues on dual-use technology."

    Now, after Obama's unambiguous promise to reform export controls, DRDO expects that many of these difficulties will ease.

    According to Saraswat, the US technology regimes have permitted cooperation in fundamental research, but not in developing specific technologies or military systems. The DRDO chief explains: "If we wanted to do research on, say, bio-medical engineering, then it is okay (with the US). But there would be hesitation on their part for research on, say, hypersonic technology, which is used in missiles."

    Washington's technology safeguard regimes have hindered not just joint military R&D, but also Indian academics researching in US institutions. Saraswat says: "A large number of Indian scientists go and work in the US universities, etc, but when it comes to really doing research in application areas, these US laws are not permitting cooperation in application-oriented research."

    Source: http://sify.com/finance/in-major-sh...-arms-with-america-news-news-kllbk3ciaei.html
     
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  3. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    What he has forgotten that USA never transfer technology to any of partners. We may get good weapons from USA but if Ajay is dreaming about transfer or access to latest technologies its a dream . We will end up doing low end job in Joint development and will gain nothing . UK is best example . Despite Bing USA ally for years they didnot get any great technology from F35 join development.
     
  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I have been following some of Ajai Shukla's reports and it is true, he often overlooks some of the fine prints.

    The US transferring technology to India is highly unlikely, given their track record. They have not done it for their old allies; they will in all likelihood not do it for a new quasi-ally.

    Nonetheless, it would be nice to explore whether there is any possibility of joint ventures with US companies, what kind of contribution India can make in these joint ventures and whether India has any technology at all that US wants and does not posses and that will cause the US to do a trade with India where there is a technology exchange, thus benefiting both the countries.
     
  5. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Now days he is a fan of F-35..

    The fact is simple ' Its a AMERICAN aircraft' If that 5th gen fighter is of European or Russian than i can say for sure IAF would have scrap MMRCA..

    I support the fact that IAF should have a 5th gen fighter rather than getting 4th gen which will be needed to upgrade to 4plus in near future..

    But that doesn't mean F-35 but AMCA with Russian and Israeli collaboration.
     
  6. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    As I'm hearing, some UAVs from US would be brought in for IAF.

    If DRDO & Defense Ministry (?) is thinking about building arms with US, they first need to take all 3 defense chiefs in confidence while asking them to trust the 'to-be-developed/built' product than the overwhelming presentations from other US/Western companies. Alone DRDO can not do anything.

    Rather than dreaming this, they should put time in researching for hone-product. And oh wait a minute, aren't our private players already collaborating with western companies to sell those products in here? Western companies might prefer these private biggies than DRDO. Ajai Shukla has a good thought but again, its just a thought.
     
  7. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    collaboration in what....?? missiles-they are better than us....aircraft-not a chance.....tanks-they rock....warships-impossible.....
    they only place we can collaborate is software tech in which we are on par with them.....
     
  8. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    I am still waiting for all the Missiles to get operational, LCA to get inducted, AAD/PAD to be deployed.............et al.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    USA will get Israel to collaborate in more areas with India what I am hoping for is X-band radar. Long term this collaboration may shift towards space based defense and exploration.
     
  10. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Collaborate in the sense, get at least 50% profits than 100% nothing from India. ANy revenue is revenue for US and it knows that as long as it keeps restrictions, nothing is possible with India. As such EU has been pressing for selling weapons to China to save their economy, which US somehow shut them up. The only alternative they see to giving up to Chinese is us. If Obama is true to his word and eases these restrictions, we can gain some useful stuff and at the same time raise India's image in the American public eyes.

    Collaboration might be slightly limited since I doubt we'd have anything crucial with USA since all important stuff is with Russians and Israelis. I think it would be mastering nanotechnology that they're good in so as to create a powerful base in India itself. If US collaborates with soemthing serious, JSF partners will screw them..LOL. UK is already loggerheads about not allowing anything critical to BAE systems despite giving $ 6 billion for JSF project and being the highest level 1 partner.

    I still think it will be sub-system level technology that will be shared with us.
     
  11. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Ajai Shukla is coming across as yank puppet who takes $$$ from yank master to further there view points.

    We should have an indigenous defense establishment so that we can survive on our own in the future. Screw everyone else (except russia)
     
  12. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    I really doubt that when IAF already has a connection with the worlds biggest supplier of UAVs.
     
  13. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

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    India and United States to Carry Out Joint Defence R&D

    Start for a new era

    The recent visit by the US President to India has paved the way for greater defence cooperation and is expected to boost military ties to a high level. With greater freedom in technology exchange and defence import/export and relaxation on controls, it is likely that Indo-US co-development of high tech weaponry will reach the maximum possible level.

    Due to US sanctions and other US government restrictions, the Indian Defence Ministry and its Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has never joined hands with the US defence industry to produce critical weaponry or big-ticket projects.

    On the other hand, India is doing joint development contracts like the $12 billion Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project with Russia which will be signed next month and there is the $2-billion partnership between the DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to co-develop an anti-aircraft missile. The US has not come close to any projects of such magnitude because of government policies and sanctions.

    Despite the Indo-US Defence Policy group in place, it is the US legal limitations and its framework of governmental policies that stifle the co-development of critical projects in defence. DRDO Chief Dr. V.K. Saraswat has indicated that many areas have been earmarked for Indo-US collaboration but the US legal framework requires permissions and legal issues pertaining to dual-use technology creates the stumbles. Added to this is the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The US technology regimes have permitted cooperation in fundamental research but not in developing specific technologies or military systems.

    However, the DRDO feels that the current US Presidential visit to India and its promise of relaxing controls on technology can lead to the Indian defence Ministry along with the DRDO co-developing defence projects with the global leader of high-tech defence, the US defence industry. The DRDO feels that there will be major joint collaboration between the US and DRDO and this may happen in the field of aeronautics or critical radar among others.

    India is renowned for its excellent base in Information and technology, especially computer simulation, virtual reality, and robotics while software has become mandatory for any military platform. The US will soon perceive that India’s capabilities and strengths can be harnessed by complimenting them with American technologies and by building the best military systems in the world with the cheapest price-tags. The DRDO has shown its virtuosity in fields like missiles, aerospace, electronic warfare systems and command networks. The DRDO feels that by 2020, the Indian and US defence industry will be working together on mega defence projects and greater interaction between the two defence giants is inevitable as long as US technology regimes don’t come in the way.

    http://indiadefenceonline.com/2312/india-and-united-states-to-carry-out-joint-defence-rd/
     
  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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  15. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    Joint collaboration is big word that usually means very little !

    Example: What exactly did India provide for the Bhramos missile - the propulsion is entirely Russian, the Guidance is russian, any other electronics is also probably Russian. At best, the Indians tweaked the firmware or software.

    Does that really constitute joint development - Well, it depends on your definition of the word is. If you ask me its a really good Russian missile with an Indian name stuck on it.

    But that does not mean that India has not learnt anything from "joint colloboration". Definitely not.
    Since they are manufacturing and assembling it inhouse - then can study the design, get the technology to make all the components in-house, and eventually improve both the hardware and software.
    Eventually they will get capability to design their own missiles.

    Whenever you have true joint collaboration - it only works when both parties have similar skill levels in whatever project they undertake. If one party is getting their feet wet, and the other party is very advanced - then usually what passes for "joint collaboration" is simply a re-badging and/or local assembly exercise.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011

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