Skip to comments.IN major shift,India/DRDO looks at building arms with America
Posted on 11/12/2010 9:02:28 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
India is co-developing and building missiles and military aircraft with Russia; it is co-developing missiles with Israel. But targeted American sanctions, and a Washington licence raj that stifles the outflow of military technology, has ensured that India's Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) has never co-developed weaponry with the world's most evolved and high-tech defence industry - that of the United States.
The US, in turn - even while selling billions of dollars worth of military aircraft to India - has failed to mine the richest lode of the Ministry of Defence (MoD): Joint development contracts like the Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), which will be signed next month with a corpus of $12 billion, which could rise to over $20 billion. Or, like the $2-billion partnership between DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries to co-develop an anti-aircraft missile.
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Airplanes are well and good, and I support our efforts in that direction, but honestly, we build (or used to) some damn good land warfare systems, which India could benefit from. They already buy their trucks from one of the best in the world (Tatra), but no one builds tracked vehicles better than ours (ok, the Merkava is probably slightly better, but we’ve got the volume advantage).
If Obama has opened up military tech transfer and collaboration with India, he would have done the first good thing since he’s been POTUS.
And before anyone says anything, yes, I already know about that combat earthmover/bulldozer abortion we tried to field. Everyone has an off day once in a while.
The Abrams has range, speed, the flawless ability to hit any target within range, at any angle and at speed.
The Merkava tops out at about 35MPH and doesn't stabilize as well for distance shots on the move.
The Merkava DOES have better armor...but it's no match for the high velocity rounds of the 120mm smooth-bore gun common to both platforms.
The greatest advantage the Merkava has it it's far cheaper, and easier to maintain than the Abrams.
For what it’s used for, the Merkava is *very* good. Yes, it isn’t as fast as the Abrams, but it’s not built to be. I didn’t know about the stabilization issue, though I can’t imagine it would be all that hard to upgrade if needed. However, as you say, the Merkava is much cheaper and easier to maintain. Plus its exhaust won’t roast any infantry that happen to be close by, and can even carry a full squad of infantry inside for faster deployment without needed a Bradley-type vehicle too.
“For what its used for, the Merkava is *very* good. Yes, it isnt as fast as the Abrams, but its not built to be.”
All weapons systems are like that. Some of the German equipment in WWII was superior to ours, and some of our equipment was better than theirs.
It does seem (if you read between the lines) that trying to contain China was the real reason for Obama’s Asia trip. The huge fleet of warships, the agreements with India, etc. And if that was the case, it would be no surprise that the Chinese would react by shooting missiles near the US (assuming that’s what they were; I don’t know).
We all know that the Chinese have been up to no good for some time now. Remember when Hu Jintao came to Washington in 2006? After their meeting, Bush looked _very_ uncomfortable. Hu probably told him something like “We can invade Taiwan whenever we darn well please, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop us.”
And they’re pulling the strings behind North Korea. Whenever we complain about China’s trade practices or currency juggling, they go and tell their little buddies to shoot off some firecrackers and divert our attention.