Amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the United States (US), the Pentagon has reportedly offered India the Stryker family of eight-wheeled armoured fighting vehicles and the upgradation of the towed M777 howitzers.
It has also offered India the MQ-9 Reaper drones and 100% transfer of technology for the indigenous manufacturing of General Electric’s (GE) F414 fighter jet engines.
India is reportedly the world’s largest arms importer, and it relies on Russia for nearly half of its military supply.
While the US wants India to reduce its military dependence on Russia—the US’s sworn enemy—India is also looking at locally manufacturing military technology under its vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
This offer is likely to make India-US cyber security cooperation even stronger.
India Wants To Manufacture Stryker Domestically
The Stryker is a V-hull armoured infantry vehicle armed with a 30mm cannon and a 105mm mobile gun designed for rapid combat response.
Derived from the Canadian Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, it was used by US forces to counter the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The Indian government is reportedly keen on manufacturing it locally.
M777 Can Be Transported Using Helicopters To Mountain Tops
To counter the challenge faced by India on its northern borders, the US has also offered to upgrade the 155mm M777 howitzers with precision-guided long-range ammunition.
Notably, India already has 145 M777 howitzers, of which 120 were manufactured by Mahindra Defence Systems with BAE Systems.
The lightweight howitzer can be transported by helicopters to mountain tops in Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh.
HAL To Produce GE F414 Jet Engines
Earlier, the government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said that it planned to use the GE F414 engine on a second generation of light-combat aircraft. HAL will produce the GE engines domestically as a licensed manufacturer. In the next two decades, India plans to produce over 350 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy, likely to be powered by the F414 engine.
Government Cleared $2.7 Billion Investment For Chip Plant
Officials in New Delhi and Washington said the decision on both Stryker and M777 towed howitzers will depend on the conditions put forth by the US.
Apart from the defence equipment deals, semiconductor manufacturer Micron Technology will sign a deal worth $2.7 billion for setting up a manufacturing plant in India, which is expected to boost the quantum computing and artificial intelligence sectors.