FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
US offer of Sea Guardian drones to India signals converging strategic interests
Updated:Jul 5, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
By John Schaus 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington last week was clearly an effort by both Modi and United States President Donald Trump to demonstrate that India-US ties remain strong and continue to deepen. The repeated embraces — three by most counts — serve as a visual reminder the continued closeness between the two countries.
 
The joint statement presents a range of issues where India and the US will work more closely.
 
One item stood out as particularly important: The US “offered for India’s consideration the sale of Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems.” This is significant for three reasons.
 
First, if India and the US are able to reach an agreement on a deal for this type of an unmanned aerial system (UAS), it could mark the first transfer by the US of such a system to a non-ally country. The Sea Guardian, a large payload, long-endurance UAS platform is a variant of the Predator UAS system used by the US military and department of homeland security. The unarmed Sea Guardian is designed to provide advanced surveillance capability for maritime and littoral missions — an increasingly important mission for India as it seeks to play a larger role in securing the sea lines of communication in the Indian Ocean.
 
Second, in announcing this offer to India, Trump effectively signalled that the US has staked out a new policy position in India’s favour regarding potential constraints imposed under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). This voluntary arms control agreement calls for a “strong presumption of denial”, for transfers of large UAS to other member-states. The regime, of which both India and the US are members, was established to limit the proliferation of missile technology (including UAS) that could deliver weapons of mass destruction. The Sea Guardian falls into the most tightly constrained Category I under MTCR.
 
While there are good arguments for decoupling UAS from the MTCR, it is not clear that US policymakers has resolved that debate for exports globally, nor has the discussion been broached in a significant way across the range of the MTCR member-countries. This significant step in India’s favour should not be overlooked.
 
Third, in offering India Sea Guardians, the US recognises that India is a maritime partner and the interests of both nations are aligning. Should India choose the Sea Guardian for its maritime surveillance missions, it would enable even greater cooperation.
 
As India and the US work to deepen bilateral ties, a necessary condition will be aligned — or at least more closely aligning — interests. Over the past two Indian administrations, and now on to the third consecutive US presidential administration, we are seeing that.
 
Equally important, however, will be continuing to find concrete areas of cooperation where rhetorical ambitions are translated into tangible progress and both countries working more closely together on mutually beneficial efforts. In offering a large unmanned maritime patrol aircraft, the two leaders have achieved just that.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
  Nearly 58 per cent of the about 600,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children who suffer from severe malnutrition, a UN report released said.
 
read-more
A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
With over 100 incidents of braid chopping reported in different parts of Kashmir, there is widespread fear and anger among the people.
 
read-more
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent above that of the corresponding period of last year.
 
read-more
As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
read-more
In West Asia, the end of one war paves the way for the next. Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), has fallen to a coalition of rebels, the Syrian Democratic Forces that is backed by the United States.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive