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March 25, 2015

India said to plan army drone exports to US in role reversal



India, the top global arms importer, is in talks to export drones and spy equipment to the US and its allies as the world’s largest democracies boost security ties, two Indian defence officials with knowledge of the matter said. AeroVinronment Inc.’s Raven drone and Lockheed Martin Corp.’s ‘Roll On-Roll Off’ kits, which turn jumbo transport jets into surveillance aircraft, are set to be made in India and sold overseas, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were confidential.
 The drones and surveillance hardware are two of four defence technologies the US agreed to jointly produce in India, a deal reached during President Barack Obama’s trip to New Delhi in January. India’s market for both items is limited, so exports would make production viable, the officials said. The US is boosting joint production with India to profit from its $150 billion modernization plan and help it counter China’s growing military capabilities. The deals also help Prime Minister Narendra Modi create manufacturing jobs and reduce India’s reliance on arms imports.
 The arrangement is “a win-win for both India and the US,” said Surya Gangadharan, a security analyst in New Delhi who has written about India’s defence industry for more than 20 years. “As long as we can leverage this relationship to counter China in whichever way possible, it is going to be useful.” The Raven is a lightweight, hand-launched drone used by about 20 countries for intelligence gathering. While India has just six C-130J transport aircraft, more than 300 of the planes are in use in about a dozen countries. Joint production 
The joint production stems from a 2012 agreement, now referred to as the defence Trade and Technology Initiative, to make it easier for the US and India to seal arms transfers. The nations haven’t released many details on the manufacturing deals, including how many units will be produced and when they will be ready for delivery. Nungsanglemba Ao, a spokesman for India’s defence Ministry, declined to comment on the possibility of exports being permitted under the India-US deal. Mark Boyer, external media relations officer for AeroVironment, didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment. Lockheed is ready to export if necessary, though couldn’t comment on the specifics of any initiative until the governments have agreed, India chief executive phil Shaw said by e-mail. Jet engines A Pentagon spokeswoman referred to comments made last month by Frank Kendall, a US under secretary of defence who has made five trips to India in the last two years. 
The initiative “aims to promote science and technology cooperation at the research, co-development, and co-production stages, and hopefully even defence exports from both of our countries at some point,” he said in New Delhi on 26 February. India last year allowed more foreign investment in defence and started prioritizing purchases of locally made weapons. It plans to spend $150 billion by 2027 on new missiles, artillery, fighter jets, submarines and defence equipment. During Obama’s visit, the US and India also agreed to jointly produce mobile electric hybrid power sources that may be used in submarines, and protective clothing for soldiers in battlefields with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. 
They also are considering sharing technology on aircraft carriers and jet engines. India accounted for 15% of global weapons imports from 2010 to 2014, followed by China at 5 percent, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia provided 70% of India’s weapons in that time, with the US at 12%. India now exports only a small amount of defence goods to neighbouring countries, including a home-built warship to Mauritius last year. Bloomberg


- livemint

India, the top global arms importer, is in talks to export drones and spy equipment to the US and its allies as the world’s largest democracies boost security ties, two Indian defence officials with knowledge of the matter said. AeroVinronment Inc.’s Raven drone and Lockheed Martin Corp.’s ‘Roll On-Roll Off’ kits, which turn jumbo transport jets into surveillance aircraft, are set to be made in India and sold overseas, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were confidential. The drones and surveillance hardware are two of four defence technologies the US agreed to jointly produce in India, a deal reached during President Barack Obama’s trip to New Delhi in January. India’s market for both items is limited, so exports would make production viable, the officials said. The US is boosting joint production with India to profit from its $150 billion modernization plan and help it counter China’s growing military capabilities. The deals also help Prime Minister Narendra Modi create manufacturing jobs and reduce India’s reliance on arms imports. The arrangement is “a win-win for both India and the US,” said Surya Gangadharan, a security analyst in New Delhi who has written about India’s defence industry for more than 20 years. “As long as we can leverage this relationship to counter China in whichever way possible, it is going to be useful.” The Raven is a lightweight, hand-launched drone used by about 20 countries for intelligence gathering. While India has just six C-130J transport aircraft, more than 300 of the planes are in use in about a dozen countries. Joint production The joint production stems from a 2012 agreement, now referred to as the defence Trade and Technology Initiative, to make it easier for the US and India to seal arms transfers. The nations haven’t released many details on the manufacturing deals, including how many units will be produced and when they will be ready for delivery. Nungsanglemba Ao, a spokesman for India’s defence Ministry, declined to comment on the possibility of exports being permitted under the India-US deal. Mark Boyer, external media relations officer for AeroVironment, didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment. Lockheed is ready to export if necessary, though couldn’t comment on the specifics of any initiative until the governments have agreed, India chief executive phil Shaw said by e-mail. Jet engines A Pentagon spokeswoman referred to comments made last month by Frank Kendall, a US under secretary of defence who has made five trips to India in the last two years. The initiative “aims to promote science and technology cooperation at the research, co-development, and co-production stages, and hopefully even defence exports from both of our countries at some point,” he said in New Delhi on 26 February. India last year allowed more foreign investment in defence and started prioritizing purchases of locally made weapons. It plans to spend $150 billion by 2027 on new missiles, artillery, fighter jets, submarines and defence equipment. During Obama’s visit, the US and India also agreed to jointly produce mobile electric hybrid power sources that may be used in submarines, and protective clothing for soldiers in battlefields with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. They also are considering sharing technology on aircraft carriers and jet engines. India accounted for 15% of global weapons imports from 2010 to 2014, followed by China at 5 percent, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia provided 70% of India’s weapons in that time, with the US at 12%. India now exports only a small amount of defence goods to neighbouring countries, including a home-built warship to Mauritius last year. Bloomberg

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/nOklMr3iEmBXEMic4TsZCL/India-said-to-plan-army-drone-exports-to-US-in-role-reversal.html?utm_source=copy
India, the top global arms importer, is in talks to export drones and spy equipment to the US and its allies as the world’s largest democracies boost security ties, two Indian defence officials with knowledge of the matter said. AeroVinronment Inc.’s Raven drone and Lockheed Martin Corp.’s ‘Roll On-Roll Off’ kits, which turn jumbo transport jets into surveillance aircraft, are set to be made in India and sold overseas, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were confidential. The drones and surveillance hardware are two of four defence technologies the US agreed to jointly produce in India, a deal reached during President Barack Obama’s trip to New Delhi in January. India’s market for both items is limited, so exports would make production viable, the officials said. The US is boosting joint production with India to profit from its $150 billion modernization plan and help it counter China’s growing military capabilities. The deals also help Prime Minister Narendra Modi create manufacturing jobs and reduce India’s reliance on arms imports. The arrangement is “a win-win for both India and the US,” said Surya Gangadharan, a security analyst in New Delhi who has written about India’s defence industry for more than 20 years. “As long as we can leverage this relationship to counter China in whichever way possible, it is going to be useful.” The Raven is a lightweight, hand-launched drone used by about 20 countries for intelligence gathering. While India has just six C-130J transport aircraft, more than 300 of the planes are in use in about a dozen countries. Joint production The joint production stems from a 2012 agreement, now referred to as the defence Trade and Technology Initiative, to make it easier for the US and India to seal arms transfers. The nations haven’t released many details on the manufacturing deals, including how many units will be produced and when they will be ready for delivery. Nungsanglemba Ao, a spokesman for India’s defence Ministry, declined to comment on the possibility of exports being permitted under the India-US deal. Mark Boyer, external media relations officer for AeroVironment, didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment. Lockheed is ready to export if necessary, though couldn’t comment on the specifics of any initiative until the governments have agreed, India chief executive phil Shaw said by e-mail. Jet engines A Pentagon spokeswoman referred to comments made last month by Frank Kendall, a US under secretary of defence who has made five trips to India in the last two years. The initiative “aims to promote science and technology cooperation at the research, co-development, and co-production stages, and hopefully even defence exports from both of our countries at some point,” he said in New Delhi on 26 February. India last year allowed more foreign investment in defence and started prioritizing purchases of locally made weapons. It plans to spend $150 billion by 2027 on new missiles, artillery, fighter jets, submarines and defence equipment. During Obama’s visit, the US and India also agreed to jointly produce mobile electric hybrid power sources that may be used in submarines, and protective clothing for soldiers in battlefields with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. They also are considering sharing technology on aircraft carriers and jet engines. India accounted for 15% of global weapons imports from 2010 to 2014, followed by China at 5 percent, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia provided 70% of India’s weapons in that time, with the US at 12%. India now exports only a small amount of defence goods to neighbouring countries, including a home-built warship to Mauritius last year. Bloomberg

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/nOklMr3iEmBXEMic4TsZCL/India-said-to-plan-army-drone-exports-to-US-in-role-reversal.html?utm_source=copy

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