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Indian Defense Procurements: Advantage Russia or USA?

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In the 21st century, India has emerged as the biggest importer of defense equipment in the international market. The US, on the other hand, is the undisputed ruler, and pure logic would entail that it should be the one enjoying a lion s share of the Indian market. However, India s strong strategic ties with Russia and the legacy of Russian equipment gives an impression that India would invariably favor Russian defense contracts. Instead, this paper argues that India has diversified its defense procurement policy in keeping abreast with the global realities its standing in the world order, and its security concerns. This research paper uses a qualitative approach to argue that the competition for Indian defense contract is wide open, and the Russian advantage in Indian defense market is just a myth. The author synthesizes the problem by contextualizing the reasons for the India s inclination towards Russia for defense procurements post-Independence. The paper tracks the evolution of Defense Procurement Procedure through the years and highlights key provisions of the latest policies in vogue. The paper then analyzes three major recent defense deals for presence of any biases and adherence to the published policies in award of the contracts. The author then points out the impediments to closer Indo-US defense ties. The paper then proposes a set of recommendations as a way forward for better Indo- US ties. The US needs to treat India as a responsible partner and avoid seeing furthering Pakistan s interests at India s behest. Similarly, the two countries need to evolve a mechanism to detangle politics and defense cooperation in their bilateral ties. Long term security cooperation could further the US national interests especially in Asia, against China. Understanding the Indian tradition of doing business could help the US.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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