South Asia and Beyond

The See-Saw Of Defence Deals: How India Balances It

NEW DELHI: A trade deal may not quite be on the horizon during U.S. President Donald Trump’s upcoming India visit but he can expect a couple of high-value defence contracts. The Indian government has cleared the purchase of 24 MH-60 Romeo multi-role helicopters worth nearly $2.6 billion—a longstanding requirement of the Indian Navy. Another deal for six more Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Army could come through. Over the past 15 years, India has imported defence deals/platforms worth $20 billion from the United States. If strategic ties with the U.S. have risen to a new level, India has kept one of its old allies—Russia—happy too. Defence acquisitions from Russia have been to the tune of $16 billion in the last decade or so. India also buys defence items from Israel and France (the Rafale fighter jets). In this episode of ‘Simply Nitin’, StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale explains how India keeps balancing the see-saw to keep key global defence players engaged.

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Nitin A. Gokhale

Left to himself, Nitin A. Gokhale would rather watch films and sports matches but his day job as a media entrepreneur, communications specialist, analyst and author, leaves him little time to indulge in his primary interests. Gokhale in fact started his career in journalism in 1983 as a sports reporter. Since then he has, in the past 41 years, traversed the entire spectrum across print, broadcast and digital space. One of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Gokhale has moved on from conventional media to become an independent media entrepreneur running three niche digital platforms—BharatShakti, StratNewsGlobal and Interstellar—besides undertaking consultancy and training workshops in communications for military institutions, corporates and individuals. Now better known for his conflict coverage and strategic analyses, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years between 1983 and 2006, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 and also brought us live coverage from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009.    An alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Gokhale now writes, lectures and analyses security and strategic matters in Indo-Pacific and travels regularly to US, Europe, Australia, South and South-East Asia to take part in various seminars and conferences. Gokhale is also a popular visiting faculty at India’s Defence Services Staff College, the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the IB’s intelligence school.