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Obama dismayed as India rejects arms deal
AlJazeera ^ | May 11t h 2011 | Shashi Tharoor, a former Indian Minister of State for External Affairs

Posted on 05/12/2011 8:44:57 AM PDT by Cardhu

India's recent decision not to purchase American warplanes for its $10 billion-plus fighter aircraft programme - the largest single military tender in the country's history - has stirred debate in defence circles worldwide.

India's defence ministry deemed the two American contenders, Boeing's F/A-18 Superhornet and Lockheed's F-16 Superviper, not to fulfil the requirements that it sought in a medium-size multi-role combat aircraft. With the Russian MiG-30 and the Swedish Gripen also eliminated, two European planes, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Rafale, are the only aircraft still in contention for an expected order of 126 planes.

India had never previously purchased an American fighter plane, and the United States hoped that India would cement the emerging bilateral strategic partnership with a hefty check. Indeed, US officials, including president Barack Obama, had lobbied for the deal, which would have pumped money and jobs into the ailing American economy. The "deeply disappointed" US ambassador to India, Tim Roemer, promptly announced his resignation. But, in a typical comment, Indian-American strategist Ashley Tellis observed trenchantly that India had chosen "to invest in a plane, not a relationship".

The notion that a major arms purchase should be based on broader strategic considerations - the importance of the US in India's emerging Weltpolitik - rather than on the merits of the aircraft itself, strikes Indian officials as unfair. Some deny that the decision reflects any political bias on the part of India's taciturn, left-leaning defence minister, AK Antony. The choice, they aver, is a purely professional one, made by the Indian Air Force, and only ratified by the ministry.

The two European fighters are generally seen as aerodynamically superior, having outperformed both US-made aircraft in tests under the adverse climatic conditions in which they might have to be used, particularly in the high altitudes and low temperatures of northern Kashmir. Experts suggest that the American planes are technologically ten years behind the European ones, and it doesn't help that Pakistan, India's likely adversary if the aircraft were ever pressed into combat, has long been a regular US client for warplanes.

Moreover, Indian decision-makers could not help but be aware that the US has not, over the years, proved to be a reliable supplier of military hardware to India or other countries. It has frequently cut off contracted supplies, imposed sanctions on friends and foes alike (including India), and reneged on delivering military goods and spare parts, in addition to being notoriously unwilling to transfer its best military technologies.

The current Indian fleet of mainly Russian and French planes has suffered from no such problems, and the existing ground-support and maintenance infrastructure would have needed major changes to handle US aircraft. (It is likely that the eventual winner of the bid will be required to enter into a joint-production arrangement with India, which US companies would not have done.)

As if all this were not enough to decide against America, the clincher might well have been the Indian government's desire to avoid any further procurement controversy at a time when allegations of corruption beset it from all sides. A decision made on technical grounds, many felt, would be easier to defend than one based on political considerations.

Against this are the unambiguous advantages of pleasing a major new ally and developing a pattern of bilateral military cooperation in supply, training, and operations that has yet to evolve. At a time when US nuclear-reactor purchases - made possible by the historic deal negotiated by the Bush administration - have been held up by US insistence on exemptions from supplier liability in the event of an accident, some regard India's spurning of US aircraft as a gratuitous rejection of an opportunity to demonstrate that friendship with India helps America, too...

More at link


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aircraftpurchase; india; opinion
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To: Hulka

How come US companies have won the most number of defense contracts in India since 2005??? By your logic, they should have paid bribes and plenty of it.


21 posted on 05/12/2011 10:55:47 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: Hulka

US companies have plenty of avenues for appeal in India. They have used those avenues more than once and successfully so. If they knew of corruption, they would have raised it and everyone from the media to opposition political parties would have jumped on it.


22 posted on 05/12/2011 10:57:37 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: Cardhu

Just like the Chicago Olympic bid...


23 posted on 05/12/2011 12:40:05 PM PDT by Tallguy (Received a fine from the NFL for a helmet-to-helmet hit.)
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To: Cardhu

International arms deals are NOT all about technology and economics. They are political as well.

For years, when India was a major member of the “non-aligned” movement, she made “friends” with Russia, instead of the U.S., as her counter to China; at a time when aligning with the U.S. could have aligned Russia with China vis-a-vis India.

After the Soviet Empire collapsed, India began to warm more to the U.S.; and trade and policy agreements have grown.

But now, instead of playing to her hottest pursuers, Russia and the U.S., she leaves them both in a mood of needing to try harder to curry favor with her some other way, by this time giving EU firms this arms deal.

Its politics, not aeronautics.


24 posted on 05/12/2011 1:52:53 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Hulka

American planes are the worlds most advanced, no doubt about that but the fighters that were on offer were seriously inferior. Super hornets were found to be underpowered and and both American fighters failed the trials. The Typhoons and Rafale were found to be streets ahead of the American fighters. And this MMRCA deal was by far the cleanest and the most transparent deals that ever happened in India. Probably the only deal where bribery and politics had very little role to play and the fighter platform were purely chosen on merit.


25 posted on 05/13/2011 7:18:22 AM PDT by ravager
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To: Wuli

Totally wrong. Read my post.


26 posted on 05/13/2011 7:21:28 AM PDT by ravager
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To: ravager

“And this MMRCA deal was by far the cleanest and the most transparent deals that ever happened in India.”

Not saying much, as corrupt asd that place is.

“Probably the only deal where bribery and politics had very little role to play and the fighter platform were purely chosen on merit.”

On that we differ.


27 posted on 05/13/2011 7:32:11 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: ravager; Wuli

Pol-mil considerations are always at play.

It is the nature of the business.


28 posted on 05/13/2011 7:33:46 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Hulka
“Not saying much, as corrupt asd that place is.”

Right. And the US is not.

What was that incident where Lockheed Martin stole some confidential papers pertaining to the MMRCA deal and tried to manipulate Dassault out of the race? Yeah Americans are so clean. /s

The F-16 and F-18 failed to even clear the trials. I haven't heard LM or Boeing contesting the claims. I don't think they would not raise any hue and cry over a $10 billion deal if they suspect foul play. As corrupt as India is (which really isn't a whole lot more then US) there are times when India is dead serious about security and defense when they have a heavily armed China & Pakistan breathing down their neck. Face it. US offer fell short.

29 posted on 05/13/2011 8:04:08 AM PDT by ravager
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To: Hulka
“Not saying much, as corrupt asd that place is.”

Right. And the US is not.

What was that incident where Lockheed Martin stole some confidential papers pertaining to the MMRCA deal and tried to manipulate Dassault out of the race? Yeah Americans are so clean. /s

The F-16 and F-18 failed to even clear the trials. I haven't heard LM or Boeing contesting the claims. I don't think they would not raise any hue and cry over a $10 billion deal if they suspect foul play. As corrupt as India is (which really isn't a whole lot more then US) there are times when India is dead serious about security and defense when they have a heavily armed China & Pakistan breathing down their neck. Face it. US offer fell short.

30 posted on 05/13/2011 8:13:33 AM PDT by ravager
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To: ravager
The US is sqeeky-clean when compared to the third-world cesspool of corruption that makes up the indian process/politics.

US companies are monitored closely and the culture of corruption like in india is not there in the US. Not even close.

They would not raise an issue because with india, what would be the point. None, as india would continue doing what it does, and there are no respectable courts in that country, especially when it comes to discovery rules.

Face it, india is corrupt, no worse than any other third-world country, for sure, but still horribly corrupt.

LM. . wasn't that an in-country consultant? And wasn't he fired? Hmmm. . . .not LM culture, nor Boeing's, to tolerate such activities.

Trying to equate india with US laws and practices is laughable, and defending bad behavior of india by lamely citing (non-policy, non-tolerated) alleged bad behavior on the part of someone else, is no defense at all and no justification.

Have a nice day. Buh-bye.

31 posted on 05/13/2011 8:44:02 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Hulka
Hmmm.... Walstreet scam, Subprime scam, Bernie Madoff, Freddie Mac, Frannie May, Lehmann brothers, Acorn, Rod Blagojevich, Enron..... yes sqeeky-clean! Totally.

But no, India has nothing on US when it comes to the total dollar amount involved in scams. In India corruption is petty and rampant but nothing as sophisticated as US. US is high roller compared to India.

And yeah commit the crime and blame the in-country consultant and do damage control by removing him. Totally LM culture. Remember Bhopal... Union Carbide? Same story.

You too, nice day!

32 posted on 05/13/2011 9:11:59 AM PDT by ravager
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To: Hulka
Hmmm.... Walstreet scam, Subprime scam, Bernie Madoff, Freddie Mac, Frannie May, Lehmann brothers, Acorn, Rod Blagojevich, Enron..... yes sqeeky-clean! Totally.

But no, India has nothing on US when it comes to the total dollar amount involved in scams. In India corruption is petty and rampant but nothing as sophisticated as US. US is high roller compared to India.

And yeah commit the crime and blame the in-country consultant and do damage control by removing him. Totally LM culture. Remember Bhopal... Union Carbide? Same story.

You too, nice day!

33 posted on 05/13/2011 9:12:00 AM PDT by ravager
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To: ravager

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.


34 posted on 05/13/2011 11:33:01 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: Hulka
Also...

“They would not raise an issue because with india, what would be the point.”

I don't think business don't raise an issue because they “don't see a point”. $10 billions ++ at stake. That's a big huge point. If India is corrupt how did the India system ended up working in favor of Boeing's other defense deals with India? Sorry but your “corruption” theory is but your own personal bias nothing more.

35 posted on 05/13/2011 12:38:43 PM PDT by ravager
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To: Wuli
Its not my opinion it is the Indian position.

Besides most importantly the Indians were looking for technology transfers and some solid guaranties against sanctions. They got neither from US and both of those from Europeans. Europeans are clear winners in this one.

36 posted on 05/13/2011 12:48:10 PM PDT by ravager
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To: ravager

“Its not my opinion it is the Indian position.”

Yes, I know, it’s the official position in India. Like, I said, the “official” position.

“Besides most importantly the Indians were looking for technology transfers and some solid guaranties against sanctions.”.........Europeans are clear winners in this one.”

I see. “Technology transfers” are a “winner” for those who transfer their technology???; for a deal today, knowing it will mean the recipient will not need you tomorrow????

The transferred technology, and the technology transfers (a VERY political matter), WAS an the issue; NOT “superior” technology.

And yes, “sanctions” also (what you can do with OUR technology) are a political matter, NOT a technology matter.

Am I holding it against India? No. It’s natural. And IT IS POLITICAL.

It’s not about getting “the best fighter”. It’s about getting “technology transfers” and it’s about not having restrictions on the use of the technology being bought. Those ARE POLITICAL decisions. NOT “best fighter” reasons.


37 posted on 05/13/2011 3:41:27 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Wuli

Which of these fighters will be in service for the next 30 years? The European ones will continue to soldier on more than the US ones by virtue of the need for them to preserve their defense-tech base.

Which of these aircraft are the best aerodynamically and optimised to take on the threat of the new Flanker derivatives coming out from China-the European aircraft were designed for that role; the F-16 wasn’t. Why is it that people don’t talk about the Super Hornet’s deficiency in the air to air role-transonic acceleration, turn rates etc. These are the US Navy’s views, not mine.

The Super hornet has always been known as the great STRIKE aircraft-but which is easier to do-modify a fighter with ground attack capabilities? Or improve the aerial performance of a strike aircraft. To say the IAF went solely by “technology transfer/political concerns” avoids accepting the fact that the European aircraft had operational benefits.

Why do you think India purchased systems like the P-8I and C-17 from the US? Technology transfer? political mileage? May be, but most importantly because they offered decisive operational advantages over existing and potential rivals.


38 posted on 05/13/2011 6:37:02 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: Hulka

Hmm, at least the planes we’d offered were too old fashioned.

excerpt from http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/rejected-mmrca-vendors-fight-to-return/435542/

Aviation experts apprehend that this procedural lacuna could be exploited by one of the “politically influential vendors” (read Boeing and Lockheed Martin) to re-enter contention. Senior IAF officers, however, emphatically rule out selecting either American fighter. Says an IAF officer involved in the selection: “The US companies, which flaunt their technological leadership, are feigning hurt that their fighters were found technologically unsuitable. But it was their misjudgement to offer the IAF fighters like the F-16 and the F-18 that are decades old. It is arrogance to claim these have been modernised and are good enough for a country like India. If they wanted to argue technology, they should have fielded the F-35.”


39 posted on 05/14/2011 12:23:24 AM PDT by buzzer
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To: buzzer
“But it was their misjudgement to offer the IAF fighters like the F-16 and the F-18 that are decades old.”.

The jets offered were not the jets built “decades ago.” If they were that stupid to know the difference, then there is no hope for them.

“It is arrogance to claim these have been modernized and are good enough for a country like India.”

Ahhh. . .the usual whining and deflection, trying to hide their corrupt decision-making process.

“If they wanted to argue technology, they should have fielded the F-35.”

Offer the JSF. . .as if. . . giving one of the most corrupt third-world countries in the world access to JSF technology. Sure.

40 posted on 05/14/2011 11:15:42 AM PDT by Hulka
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