Discussions Underway To Exchange Defence Technology With India: US Official
In 2018, the two sides also signed COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement), which permits military interoperability and the export of high-end equipment from the US to India
Photo Credit : PIB,
The US wants to be India's preferred partner as it diversifies its weapon supply base away from Russia and considers co-developing and co-producing next-generation weapon systems, according to a US defence official.
Rear Admiral Michael L Baker, the United States defence attaché in India, said that discussions are underway to identify areas for exchanging high-end technology and positioned the United States as the best suitable partner for the development of futuristic weaponry.
“There are many areas in which we are trying to identify a truly win-win spot for sharing technology and co-producing and co-developing (defence) equipment and systems. There are some problems in high-end technology and building next-generation equipment but the US is the ideal partner for that,” Admiral Baker said.
While Admiral Baker did not reveal the specifics of the conversations, the US has lately revived efforts to collaborate with India on the development of a new fighter jet engine that will power modern combat aircraft. India has been looking for a foreign technology collaborator to help it create a jet engine capable of producing more than 110 kilonewtons of thrust for its next-generation advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA).
Earlier discussions with the US under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) for the sharing of jet engine knowledge had come to a halt due to differences in the degree of technology transfer needed by the Indian side. There are signs that the US may reconsider its position and restart discussions.
According to a top General Electric (GE) executive, active discussions for technology transfer are underway, and there has been “good development” in recent days. The company, which supplies GE 404 engines for India's homegrown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), is in talks to improve its GE 414 engine for AMCA.
Both Safran of France and Rolls-Royce of the United Kingdom are in discussions with India to co-develop a fighter jet engine in the 110-kilonewton class at present. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing a new fighter jet engine complex and preliminary estimates indicate that an engine for next-generation combat aircraft might be manufactured within seven years of the project's approval.