14 February 2017
The Indian Navy is in the hunt for a new foreign fighter jet after rejecting an indigenously made aircraft as too heavy, the latest sign of the struggle to get Asian militaries to buy locally to grow their defence industries.
The navy last month invited manufacturers to pitch for 57 planes for its aircraft carriers, a multi-billion dollar order the government had hoped would go to the state-run producers of India’s Tejas, a combat aircraft 33 years in the making.
India, South Korea, Taiwan and other Asian buyers are expected to intensify efforts this year to develop indigenous warplanes, military officials said, because of anxieties that the US may be less engaged in the region under President Donald Trump.
But their hopes of manufacturing state-of-the-art warplanes could still be decades away as countries need more time to master the technology, experts said.
“It’s been long on ambition short on success,” Richard A. Bitzinger, senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said of the drive. “These things are being done because of techno-nationalism. They are done because these countries perceive of themselves as rising powers.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 14/02/2017