Together with the US waiver for India’s purchase of the Russian S-400 Triumf missile systems hanging in the balance, New Delhi has kicked off the proper procedure for another mega defence bargain with Washington as a sweetener to get the Trump government.
The NDA government on Thursday issued the”letter of request” to the US authorities for its Rs 13,500 crore purchase of 24 naval multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ helicopters, armed with torpedoes and missiles for powerful anti-submarine warfare capacities, said leading resources.
The induction of those heavy duty choppers at the 2020-2024 interval will come as a shot in the arm to the Indian Navy, whose warships are almost bereft of these fires in a time when Chinese atomic and diesel-electric submarines are making periodic forays in the Indian Ocean Region.
The government-to-government bargain for its MH-60 choppers, made by Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin, beneath the US overseas military sales programme is very likely to be inked inside a year. The US has already notched army earnings value $17 billion to India because 2007, even overtaking Russia for a few years during the past ten years.
The FMS course is deemed much cleaner and quicker than the awkward worldwide tender procedure, which requires a few years and is frequently derailed by allegations of corruption in India. India has attracted all its weapon programs in the united states, such as the C-17 Globemaster-III tactical airlifters, C-130J”Super Hercules” airplanes and M-777 ultralight howitzers, through FMS programme.
Acquisition of fresh multi-role turbines continues to be pending for well over ten years, together with the Navy identifying them combined with submarines and minesweepers at the top three”crucial operational requirements” for this. The 140-warship drive has only about a dozen older Sea King and 10 Kamov-28 anti-submarine warfare helicopters.
The preliminary “approval of requirement” for its MH-60 choppers along with the $1 billion purchase of this American National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II), slated for installation for a missile shield for New Delhi, has been accorded from the Nirmala Sitharaman-led Defence Acquisitions Council before the inaugural”two-plus-two” dialog between India and the US here on September 6.
The two US defence secretary Jim Mattis and secretary of state Mike Pompeo have ardently maintained India’s case for a “national security waiver” beneath CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries via Sanctions Act), which attempts to stop states from buying Russian weapons or olive petroleum, for its own $ 5.43 billion S-400 missile deal.
However, the last call still must be obtained from President Donald Trump, that will require a transactional quid pro quo concerning a significant Indian defence deal in addition to India’s strategic commitment to progressively decrease its reliance on Russian weapon systems.
The US, obviously, is in contention for much more Indian defence prices. Washington, for example, is vigorously hawking its F/A-18 or F-16 fighter manufacturing lineup for the IAF’s over $20 billion”Earn in India” contest for 114 jets in addition to the Navy’s pursuit for 57 carrier-capable fighters.
India and the US will also be in advanced talks for 22 armed Predator-B or weaponised Sea Guardian drones. Next, after the initial 24 multi-role helicopters, the Navy also has long-term”Make in India” jobs for the following 123 such choppers in addition to 111 armed mild utility choppers.