India-US defence ties flying high: Maritime patrol aircraft on way

In an increasingly fragile and volatile neighbourhood, India is all set to upgrade its arsenal with a host of new high-tech acquisitions. This also comes at a time when the United States is all set to overtake Russia, Israel and France as India’s largest arms supplier with deals worth $10 billion inked since 2007. With Pakistan and China inking some major deals in the recent past, this acceleration in defence relationship with the US is set to boost the modernization of India’s armed forces. It would also help India strengthen its position with volatility increasing in the neighbourhood.
China Factor
One of the major acquisitions is going to be the deal of $1 billion for four P 8I planes that would be used for maritime patrol. This comes in the backdrop of China strengthening its presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as a part of its Maritime Silk Road strategy. With recent reports of Chinese submarines docking in Karachi lurking past Indian waters, it has raised alarm bells in the security establishment at New Delhi.
Pentagon and South Block are also set to begin negotiations in the next few days over the proposed $770 million deal for M-777 ultra-light howitzers under which the bulk of 145 artillery guns to be acquired in a government to government deal, will be made in India. This is also in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, which is expected to spur indigenization of the country’s defence sector.

Read More