India looks to be a promising high-tech military supplier, says top US Defense Official in India


In order to meet the growing need for high-tech and effective weapons, India possesses the required intellectual capacities to become a dependable arms supplier. The US would look for more opportunities in sourcing military requirements from India, stated a senior US defence official to India Rear Admiral Michael Baker in the United States Navy.

He also stated that India is capable to become a potential alternate to China in the Asia-Pacific region.

Baker is the US Navy foreign area officer overseeing the U.S. defence coalition operations and the Military Attaché Operations in India.

The US is importing a significant part of its military requirements from India. At the DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, the US is exploring more opportunities to co-develop and co-produce military items that can be “a win-win not only for US and India but a win for the entire region,” Baker said in an interaction.

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Advancements in technology

For India to become a potential alternative to China in sourcing military goods, Baker believed that every nation should look at an alternative to China, “to safeguard their own supply line, their own capabilities. Being able to diversify in that sense is good. India is a pretty capable country across a whole variety of sectors. This may be a great opportunity and alternative for countries in this region. If we, from the US, can help India to achieve that goal, that will be a positive development,” said Baker.

“We see a lot of advancements in technology deployment on the battlefield. We see some examples of high-tech weapons being very effective against older weapons. It is a dynamic time in the defence industry. Those who can innovate well, marketing quickly with a good sound product that meets military capability requirements, are going to be successful,” said Baker, adding that India has exhibited its capabilities as it builds ships, Apache fuselages, C-130 J fuselages, wings for aircrafts, Tejas aircrafts, ground armaments, light guns, and more.

“India has got capabilities as it is already working on all of these areas. They certainly have intellectual capacities,” he said.

Military trade

Further, the US is currently in discussion for some major military trade partnerships with India. “There is a next-generation fighter (jet) for India, for which the US is competing. There is also a next-generation naval fighter as well among others. We continue to work on this with our Indian partners and our team in Washington,” he said.

The US interest in engagement with India is to look for what capabilities the Indian military need, and what capabilities the US military need, so as to be able to collaborate to deter aggression in the Indo-pacific region.

The US looks to leverage Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) with India to explore areas where both can collaborate and help startups, or established industries.

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