India-US defence relation has reached a milestone, with accordance of ‘Major Defence Partner’ status to India. Under the US National Defence Authorization Act, the status underlines expanding military engagements, increased defense trade and greater cooperation on technology development.
According the same status to India brings it on par with US allies particularly NATO countries. It signifies:
• Defence indigenisation:
It will help India avail technology transfers to modernise it’s defence industry by easing licensing requirements by US firms, which has a great strategic importance.
• Expanding military exchanges:This tag follows the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) between India and US, which allowed both countries to avail services from each other’s military bases. On the contrary India’s relations with defence partners like Russia, Israel needs to be carefully crafted.
• Growing interests of USA in Asia:This move signifies US’s aims to befriend India and counter China’s aggression in South and South East Asia, which has great economic and strategic value.
• Furthers India’s case for entry into multi-lateral export regime:
This is a step forward by India to enter multi-lateral export groups like NSG, Australian group, etc.
Technology becoming obsolete being a major concern of the defence industry, easing FDI norms and government’s special focus on defence indigenization the defence would get a major boost with this status. It will also holds significance in the changed geopolitical reality where China is increasing its assertiveness.