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Evolution of India-US Defence Relations


Evolution of India US Defence Relation


Two democracies of the world, the oldest and the democracy of the world are gradually coming together. Just a few months back PM Narendra Modi had an official state visit to the USA.


In recent visits PM Modi had secured various important deals out of these the most important is the HAL and GE deal which I had talked about.


Here we shall talk about the evolution of India-US defense relation


Take away from the recent India-US meeting in the USA


  • They hailed the inauguration of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology.
  • India and The USA are set to collaborate in Space, Science and Space Technology. NASA and ISRO are expected to develop a strategic framework for human spaceflight cooperation by the end of 2023.
  • India and USA signed an MOU on the Semiconductor Supply chain.


Deals between India and the USA in the defence sector


India and the USA defence partnership has emerged as a pillar of global peace and security. It is being established through joint exercises, 2+2 ministerial dialogues and other methods


GE and HAL signed a deal for the manufacturing of F414 engines for Hindustan Aeronautics Light Combat Aircraft.


Both India and the USA launched (INDUS- X) which will promote joint defense technology innovation, co-production of advanced defense technology


History of Evolution of  India-US Defence Relations


If we look into the history of these two countries, the relations between these two countries were not friendly.


Initially, when India gained Independence in 1947, India decided to be part of Non-Alignment which meant that India would maintain her neutrality during the Cold War.


In the initial stage, the USA helped India in establishing the Indian Institute of Technology and also helped India in the Green Revolution.


But after the 70s, the relationship between these countries became bitter. In the 1971 war, the USA was on the verge of attacking India. Meanwhile, India got closer to the Soviet Union which added fuel to the division.


The USA was hostile as far as India’s Nuclear Programme was concerned. In 1998 the US imposed sanctions on India for the Pokhran test


Situations started to change after the 1991 economic revolution in India. India emerged as a big market in the US. The IT revolution also boomed in India which supplied cheap skilled labourers to the USA. Slowly we see the Indian diaspora become strong in the USA.


In 2001 World Trade Center was attacked by Al Qaeda. India has been a victim of terrorist attacks since the 1990s.  As both of these countries became victims of terrorism a new dawn of relationship.


USA AND India’s defence relationship are based on the basic ideologies that both of us share, that is Freedom and Democracy.


  • Along with that, we share security interests as well


  • Maintaining security and stability


  • Defeating terrorism and violent religious extremism and preventing the spread of weapons.


  • Protecting trade and commerce at sea lanes


India US Defence Relation with Agreed Minute to New Frame Work treaty

The relationship between India and the US started with the Agreed Minute signed in 1995. Ten years in 205 India US signed New FrameWork for India – US Defense Relationship was signed and It was going to stretch for 10 years.


This gave a roadmap of the defence relations between the two countries. It includes joint exercises, defence deals, strengthening the military capabilities and ensuring global.


Then comes another step where both countries will raise another step to improve the relationship


In 2012, the Department of Defense created a mechanism for overcoming or reducing bureaucratic hurdles. This helped to smoothen the relationship between two nations as far as deals are concerned.


On June 7 2016, President Barack Obama and PM Narendra Modi announced the recognition of India as a major Defense Partner of the USA.

COMCASCA in the Evolution India-US Defence Relation

In 2018, India and the USA signed an agreement called COMCASCA. COMCASCA stands for Communication for Communication Compatibility and Security Agreement. This is signed for the purpose of selling High-End Technology to the allies.

Actually, COMCASCA is an Indian-specific version of the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement. This allows India to procure the transfer of specialised equipment for encrypted communication for the US-origin military like the C-17, C-130, and P-81.


Then again LEMOA was signed between The USA and India. The agreement establishes basic terms for the reciprocal provision of Logistics Support Supplies and Services between the armed forces of India and The United States.


CAATSA in the Evolution of India-US Defence Relation

Now let’s talk about CAATSA. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanction ACT or CAATSA is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. In 2018, the USA exempted India from such provision for purchasing S400 missiles from the Russian Defense System.


So if we sum up we clearly see the evolution of India’s US relationship, We saw that from neutrality in the early time of the Cold War to being close with the Soviet Union and then after the 2000s we saw a new beginning.


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