◆Special forces in India-U.S. exercise
【New Delhi】The first India-U.S. tri-services exercise is likely to take place in 2019, and talks are on to include the special forces of the two countries in the drill, a senior U.S. defence official has said.
The three forces of each country already take part in bilateral exercises separately. The Navies participate in an exercise in Malabar, involving Japan. "But this will be the first time, the three services of India and the U.S. will participate in a drill together," Brigadier General David E. Brigham, Defense Attaché, U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said.
○The Modi-Putin summit is likely to prove to be a game changer
【New Delhi】India and Russia recently signed a $5-billion deal for New Delhi to buy the Russian S-400 Triumf missile defence system to bolster its shield against possible air attacks by Pakistan and China. They also signed eight other pacts, including cooperation on India’s ambitious human space mission, Gaganyaan.
The Russian-built S-400 Triumf is the world's most advanced operationally-deployed long-range surface-to-air missile system, considered much more effective than the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system.
The resolve to bolster India's air defence coverage became stronger after China inducted six S-400 batteries in January under a $3 billion deal with Russia in 2014. China is getting the older version of S-400. In terms of configuration, India's S-400 are better than what China is getting.
The US last month imposed financial sanctions on China for its S-400 deal, but India is hopeful of getting a waiver from the Trump administration, being its close strategic partner.
The combination of the 36 Rafale fighters that India is buying from France for Rs 59,000 crore and the S-400 missile systems is a force to reckon with, even in case of a two-pronged offensive by China and Pakistan.
America's worry is that the S-400 systems are capable of “mapping or recording” data of other platforms like aircraft or radars. The stealth characteristics, electronic warfare and other capabilities of US F-35 fighters can be recorded by S-400 missile systems. Moscow would then be able to access data recorded by S-400 systems if leaked by India or any other country.
Hopefully, Trump will understand India's urgent national security requirement, especially when it is surrounded by two colluding, nuclear powers. Then the Modi-Putin summit is likely to prove to be a game changer when it comes to settling the international disputes of the region. (The writer Dr P K Vasudeva is a defence analyst and commentator.)
○Reliance Defence will get 3% of Rs 30,000 crore Rafale offset
【New Delhi】Reliance Defence could get just over 3 per cent of the Rs 30,000-crore Dassault Aviation offsets contract, contrary to the impression that it is the biggest beneficiary of the Rafale fighter jets deal.
The joint venture, Dassault Reliance Aviation Limited (DRAL), will see an investment capped at €100 million (Rs 850 crore) for setting up a plant to manufacture parts for Falcon executive jets, ET has learnt.
Dassault Aviation will deliver its Rafale fighter jets to India from 2019 and may see new orders in coming months, Chief Executive Eric Trappier told Reuters ahead of the world's largest business jet show in Orlando.
Meanwhile, Shatrughan Sinha, a movie star, also a dissatisfied BJP leader, criticised the BJP government at the Centre over the Rafale deal. He said a French publication had quoted former French president Francois Hollande as saying that the Indian government had proposed Reliance Defence as a partner for the French aerospace major Dassault Aviation for the deal. Speaking at a farmers' panchayat in Tawli village Sunday evening, he said questions were being asked why an experienced company like the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was set aside and a new company got the contract for the Rafale deal. He appealed to all opposition leaders to unite to defeat the BJP in the 2019 general election. Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also addressed the farmers.
Special forces in India-U.S. exercise
A game changer for India
Reliance Defence will get 3% of Rs 30,000 crore Rafale offset
Dassault to deliver Rafale fighter jets to India from 2019: CEO Eric Trappier
Shatrughan Sinha criticises BJP govt over Rafale deal
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