India, US close in on defense deals worth $8 billion

Published: April 27, 2012

Two Apache attack helicopter gunships on a practice run. PHOTO: US ARMY

NEW DELHI: US companies are poised to sign defense deals totaling $8 billion with India, US Ambassador Nancy Powell said on Friday at her first public speech since arriving in New Delhi this month.

Powell did not specify which companies she was talking about or when the deals would be signed, but embassy officials said she was referring to negotiations that include about a dozen Apache helicopters along with engines for Indian jets.

“We are poised to sign an additional $8 billion in direct commercial and foreign military sales,” Powell said. “As we share more common equipment, our bilateral defense ties will become stronger.”

India is the world’s largest arms importer and plans to spend close to about $100 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade its largely Soviet-era equipment.

US companies including Boeing Co, Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co are some of the contractors looking to grab a share of India’s planned military spending.

Industrial conglomerate Honeywell International Inc. is offering engines for the Indian Airforce’s Jaguar fighter aircraft.

Powell said improving bilateral trade and investment was her main objective as ambassador, mentioning US concerns about tariff and non-tariff barriers and a new retroactive tax law as obstacles in the relationship.

 

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Salman
    Apr 27, 2012 - 10:03PM

    and then still people in Pakistan have problems with Pak-China defense deal which is way cheaper then anything having from US and Europe

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  • mushtaq
    Apr 27, 2012 - 11:04PM

    we should continue to block nato supply line.also american ambassador should explain meaning of this.they call us allies and then arm our enemies this is outrageous.

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  • Truthbetold
    Apr 27, 2012 - 11:40PM

    @Salman:

    “and then still people in Pakistan have problems with Pak-China defense deal which is way cheaper then anything having from US and Europe “

    What many Pakistanis are objecting to is the fact that Pakistan has to borrow hard dollars to pay for these, and more importantly, it can’t afford them. It even has had to borrow more to pay for the interest dues on past loans. Pakistan appeals to the whole world for aid for floods, earthquakes etc. but it can afford to spend on military toys?

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  • True Muslim Paki
    Apr 28, 2012 - 12:08AM

    Now we should immediately demand Military Aids from china. China must also understand that Agni 5 will reach all of china.

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  • Khan
    Apr 28, 2012 - 12:10AM

    @Salman:
    We don’t have a problem with transfer of technology type of deals .. even if the technology is obsolete, its still better as a base platform, but the main problem people have is, that 60% of budge is every year gone on the name of defense and yet Army etc are running bakeries, banks, own town schemes.
    Only if we could invest 20% out of that 60% share we will never need to buy from any one as we will have enough brains to develop everything indigenous forever instead of begging to buy with loans from the US or China etc which is sometimes even not delivered.

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  • Atheist, India
    Apr 28, 2012 - 12:27AM

    Ahh… I have been wondering since morning why Hillary Clinton is visiting India all of a sudden.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Apr 28, 2012 - 12:33AM

    The united states want to see peace in the reigen but dont condenm indian missiles testing
    and called this is for china but indirectlly fro pakistan what peace loving peoples…

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  • BlackJack
    Apr 28, 2012 - 12:54AM

    Pakistanis are now unhappy because the US is not offering them the money to buy this equipment – from them.

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  • Kashi
    Apr 28, 2012 - 2:04AM

    ha ha ha USA needs money so selling its products to stupid nations like middle east, africa n now india…why USA dont sell these products to EU. countries ??? cause may be they are not Stupid…

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  • Apr 28, 2012 - 3:49AM

    Helicopters are not something that cannot be countered, they are only bettered in low insurgency climate with clear air superiority. In other words, it has more internal use or within along borders than offensive. Being slow moving and low altitude objects, they are not prone to shoulder launched SAM, I was watching a video on youtube where US lost 3 helicopters to Taliban just to RPGs and machine gunfire.

    US are cunning players when it comes to exports. When they offered F18 to India, they same time sold 500 AARM 120SD to Pakistan, that can hit target almost 120km. In other words they are encouraging neighbours to carry on competing against each other and keep spending money.
    It doesn’t matter if India has more money they have 1.24billion of population as well and more than half lives under poverty there too. Where as Pakistan is way smaller country, it should not get involved into arms race, as long as we have deterrence we should declare peace and more worry about education, health and socio-economic factors.We wish India well to pair with china anyway she wants, be it military or otherwise. Peace from Pakistan.

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  • SoundOfFury
    Apr 28, 2012 - 4:53AM

    @Salman:

    And they are cheap because they are junk. Nothing comes free my friend. Do you really think everyone is willing to pay top dollar if the cheap Chinese knockoffs could remotely come close to the quality of the us/euro weaponry?

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  • S
    Apr 28, 2012 - 5:29AM

    @truthbetold

    lets not forget that india can’t afford to spend on military toys either, it has almost quarter of population on less than 1$. It also get aids from Britian for education etc, and it also borrows heavily, with over $2 trillion debt. Lets not go that road!

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  • Apr 28, 2012 - 6:30AM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    The reason is policy’s like No First Use, which rule out Indian aggression in the nuclear area. Thats the reason all Countries trust India. Pakistan has said it will use nukes the first opportunity it gets.

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  • Pinto
    Apr 28, 2012 - 7:08AM

    @Kashi: more than the these halicopters its the technology that matters.The ambition of india is to develope its own weapons but for that they experience and knowledge of technology of different countries.

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  • Truthbetold
    Apr 28, 2012 - 11:36AM

    @S:

    “lets not forget that india can’t afford to spend on military toys either, it has almost quarter of population on less than 1$. It also get aids from Britian for education etc, and it also borrows heavily, with over $2 trillion debt. Lets not go that road! “

    India spends only 2.5% of GDP on defense as opposed to 10 to 12% by Pakistan. British “aid” is about $1.5B. It is peanuts, yet I don’t know why Britain does that. India does not need it.

    Don’t pull numbers out of thin air. India’s external debt is about $300B, and not $2T as you state’.is very low at 15% of GDP. This is borrowed only for infrastructure projects which in turn grow the economy. India has no repayment problems of interest and principal unlike Pakistan.

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  • Vigilant
    Apr 28, 2012 - 11:43AM

    Peace loving people…….want to spend $100billions on defence…….Really…..what a joke (Peace loving people)

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  • Sonam Shyam
    Apr 28, 2012 - 11:43AM

    @Asim Hashmi: Mr.Hashmi, I think that you will be interested to know that India has never used attack helicopters to tackle insurgency; not even in Kashmir. While on the other hand Pakistani military has liberally used heavy artillery, attack helicopters and even fighter jets to pound the insurgents in FATA. By the way you will also be interested to know that attack helicopters are also used in real battle field conditions and even in enemy territories. Therefore your contention that attack helicopters are used within a country’s borders etc is erroneous. By the way, watching youtube videos to understand war tactics and strategies is not the most desirable thing to do.

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  • How?
    Apr 28, 2012 - 1:04PM

    @Vigilant:
    It is better than to spend $100 billion on terrorists.

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  • zaid hamid
    Apr 28, 2012 - 1:55PM

    @Vigilant:
    well done boy. keep it up

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  • S
    Apr 28, 2012 - 1:58PM

    @truth be told

    300B are india’s foreign reserves, debt is above 2T, do a little bit of research mate. Regarding debt payments and india’s ability to meet them, read a bit of news papers like FT etc, S&P have put india on a negative watch, and india already is on the lowest investment grade rating. Do a little of research mate, and you will know the reality

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  • Yash
    Apr 28, 2012 - 2:26PM

    @Truthbetold:

    british aid to india is coz of some kinda convention that rich nations will donate 0.7% of their gdp for development of poor nations….

    n for india…the aid doesnt come in govt hands…it goes to Non-Govt Organisations (NGOs) to carry out development work

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  • Yash
    Apr 28, 2012 - 4:23PM

    @S:

    seems like uve done a lot of research….provide a single link to me please??

    foreign reserves are arnd 260 billion….india’s gdp is 1.7 trillion n debt above 2 trillion??….lol

    the credit ratings are done on basis of fiscal deficit and not debts…theres a HUGE difference between the two

    india is on lowest on investment grade??….still the world prefers to invest in india compared to pakistan??

    do this…pls gimme a single link to back what ur saying

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  • let there be peace
    Apr 28, 2012 - 8:46PM

    @Vigilant:
    Defense is also necessary for peace.
    Afghanistan was once inhabited by peace loving people and full of Buddhist monasteries. some fine day hordes of barbarians came, destroyed all the monasteries, killed the monks, Hung thousands of heads on trees. Whatever monks were left ran away to Kashmir and Tibet. and since then there is no peace in Afghanistan , just violence and chaos.

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  • May 1, 2012 - 1:11AM

    So the two faced indians are defending their arms purchase ? while all the curse is for Pakistan

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  • laldo
    May 4, 2012 - 2:00PM

    americans are lobbying india to buy armaments so that it can give more employment & jobs to the americans with a WIN WIN situation for President Obama coming elections.
    india & usa shud have joint ventures in defence deals rather than upgrading any of the soviet era aged military hardwares.

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