U.S. Defense Considering Setting Up Manufacturing Bases In India

Largest ever U.S. military showcase at Aero India, 2007.

"We are looking at increasing strategic partnership with India in not only aero space but across the entire spectrum of its defense sector. We would also like to set up our manufacturing base in India," former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Chairman William S. Cohen said Feb. 5 in Bangalore, according to a report on outlookindia.com.

Cohen and Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering of the Boeing Co. led a 24-member U.S.-India Business Council Executive Mission (USIBC) to India for the Aero India 2007. The objective of the visit is to "consolidate the momentum of the recent U.S.-India strategic partnership to showcase American excellence in technology superiority, reliability, and long-term partnership," according to the USIBC.

India's rising security profile has made the country a significant market for aerospace industry and with sanctions imposed on India post-Pokhran nuclear test gone, major US-based defense suppliers are aiming at establishing a base here according to outlookindia.com.

At Aero India 2007, which began Feb. 4 and continues until Feb. 7, the U.S. government has approved for the first time the largest fleet ever of military aircraft for static and flying displayed in a major air show. Senior officials from the Department of Defense will also attend, clearly demonstrating U.S. commitment to India as a long-term partner said the USIBC.

Boeing will showcase the F/A-18f, C-17 transport aircraft, and Chinook heavy-lift chopper, while Lockheed Martin will showcase the F-16, C-130j, and P-3c. In addition to Boeing and Lockheed Martin, companies attending the show include Honeywell, General Electric, Raytheon, The Cohen Group, United Technologies Corporation/Pratt & Whitney, Bell Helicopter Textron, Emergent Bio-Solutions, L-3 Communications, and The Fremont Group.

Aerospace companies are hoping to build alliances, find partners, and share cutting-edge technology with India at the event, according to USIBC.

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