The United States has offered to develop the next generation aircraft carrier technology with India,visiting deputy secretary of defence Ashton Carter said Wednesday.
The technology on offer,Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System,will be a quantum leap for the Indian Navy that currently relies on the Russian ski-launch technology.
Both Indian carriers,INS Vikramaditya,coming in November,and INS Vikrant,being built in Kochi,can ski-launch only light fighter aircraft. But EMALS would make it possible to launch heavy aircraft,including early warning systems,refuellers and transporters,from future ships. India has yet to freeze the design of the second indigenous carrier it plans to build after Vikrant.
Carter said the US is keen to develop and co-produce defence equipment with India on the lines of Brahmos,a missile developed jointly by India and Russia and which is on offer for export to a third country. One such technology that can be shared under the Defence Technology Initiative is EMALS,Carter said. The US is developing and fielding that system and is offering the technology to India which has an aircraft carrier and is considering making more, he said.
Also on offer for joint development is the next generation anti-tank guided missile,Carter said.
The Javelin system has been on offer to India for years but it never managed to make the cut due to restrictions imposed by US law on transfer of technology,a critical factor guiding most of Indias new defence acquisitions. But Carter said work has been done to amend bureaucratic processes and new version of this system can be jointly developed.
He emphasised that the US wishes to replicate,in part,the Russian model of cooperation with India. That is exactly the same kind of thing where two industry teams are involved in the whole product life cycle; where the product is both co-produced and developed.
He dismissed concerns that such collaboration can be hampered due to Indias refusal to sign the so called frameworks agreements.