India Development News & Foreign Investment Opportunities

Drone approval-missile offer to be part of Indo-Pacific strategy!

American chance for Make in India


American chance for Make in India


Defence Industry stakeholders address the opportunities . Source: Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers – file picture).

The US government has approved sale of armed drones along with an offer of integrated air and missile defence systems to help India boost its military capabilities and protect shared security interests in the strategically important Indo-Pacific region.

The approval-cum-offer from Donald Trump Administration came in the aftermath of the 14 February 2019 Pulwama terrorist attack in which 40 Indian soldiers were killed and the increasing militarisation and assertiveness of China in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, reported Press Trust of India (PTI) on 8 June 2019.

Washington is ready to offer its best defence technologies to India, which has been made an important partner enlarged Indo-Pacific region where the American maintains strong presence at the displeasure of China.

“The United States (has) approved the sale of the armed drones to India. We have offered integrated air and missile defence technology to India,” PTI quoted a senior White House official.

Industry observers said Japan and US has pulled India into Indo-Pacific, a region reaching the American shores and stretched over Indian Ocean for a much larger strategy against the China-dominated Asia Pacific including the South China Sea which has a number of contested territories by smaller Asian nations.

Speaking at the the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue on 1 June 2019, the US Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M Shanahan, underlined: “We are a Pacific nation. We are a resident power, with deep economic, cultural, and personal connections that inextricably link us with the growth and vitality of the world’s most dynamic region.

“Our shared geography has spurred the integration and linkage of our economies: America’s annual two-way trade here is US$2.3 trillion, and US foreign direct investment is US$1.3 trillion, more than China’s, Japan’s and South Korea’s combined,” said Shanahan.

“Our defence ties are similarly strong: we have a long history of engagement, and we have strong, long-standing relationships, from our five treaty alliances to our large and growing number of defence partners.

“Our defence relationships have expanded along with this region’s prosperity, and as our own economic interests increased. And this region’s prosperity has been increased by the stabilizing influence of our defence relationships.

“So, the synergy between prosperity and security is well-understood,” he stressed.

But this did not go well with China, which rebutted the claims at the same dialogue on 2 June 2019.

The observers said the armed drone approval and offer of missiles are obviously a growing defence strategy for the Indo-Pacific region, where, at times, India remain shy and maintains its old philosophy of being a non-aligned nation.

Nevertheless, the armed drones and missiles will be a bigger boost for the “Make in India” initiative which will thrives on making components for American defence industry, if counter-offers considered.

The heavyweights of American defence industry, such as Lockheed Martin, are all waiting for government-to-government approvals for starting large-scale manufacturing in India.

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