Opportunities at the bottom of the tech-pyramid
Writing on the impact of the US presidential elections on US-India defence ties, Jasjit Singh argues that the bilateral Defence Policy Group should incorporate private-sector bodies and that the Indian government should drop its narrow focus on just high-technology transfers.
Our desire for frontier technology access should not be at the cost of appropriate and workhorse technologies.
There is no reason why outsourcing in manufacturing and R&D for the vast range of military equipment and parts should not provide the impetus needed in bilateral relations. Private industry would have to lead in commodities like military parts and components, but the two governments would have to facilitate the process with policy changes wherever needed. The defence industry in India has been opened to the private sector, with 26 per cent foreign equity permitted. By itself this would not provide adequate results if we keep focusing only on high-technology and big-ticket weapons acquisition.[IE]
‘Workhorse’ technologies is a good place to start, not just because its easier, but also because these are what the armed forces actually use. The export market for defence equipment of this nature is broader and is not riddled with various export-control regimes.
Nothing like private-sector relationships in the defence sector to drive the momentum of the bilateral ‘tango’.