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US strengthening India to limit Chinese growing hegemony in region


News Analysis |

United States of America has sanctioned the sale of 24 MH-60R helicopters, known for anti-submarine and reconnaissance operations, to India for net $2.6 billion transactions. India submitted a request for advanced MH-60R helicopters, nicknamed Romeo, last year to replace its ageing fleet of British made Sea King Helicopters and due to the nature of ties between India and the USA along with strong Indian lobby in the Washington DC, the request underwent prompt action and finally approved.

Terming India as a key strategic partner for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, the statement released by U.S state department in this regard said, “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner.”

The low-earth orbit surveillance satellite, launched for military purpose, weighs 436 kg and will monitor and provide the locations of enemy radar sites deep in their territory.

China after putting massive investment in the form of Belt and Road Initiative to provide its products with alternate land routes to reach the international markets, has now been encircling India by gaining control or access to key ports around it. It already has access to Gwadar Port due to the multibillion-dollar investment and the nature of relations China historically has enjoyed with Pakistan.

Recently, it gained complete control of a key Sri Lankan port of Hambantota and now India feels threatened for its maritime security and movement in the Indian Ocean. India has repeatedly been claiming and protesting that patrolling to Chinese submarines have increased in the Indian Ocean in its proximity.

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Since the U.S sees India as a key strategic ally to clip the wings of a high-flying dragon, the military cooperation between two countries has increased significantly over the last few years, despite the skirmished relations during the cold war.

India has Access to High Tech Military Technology

Recently India demonstrated its ability to take down satellites in the lower orbit, a message to China that it also possesses the power which China tested back in 2007. Though it had the capability since 2012, however, a demonstration at this stage was seen once again as a publicity stunt by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to boost its chances in the upcoming Indian general elections.

But the same goal can leave Pakistan far behind in the race and in order to catch up, Pakistan must look for opportunities to broaden its arsenal and improve the existing surveillance and interception technology. 

Also, two days ago, India launches its surveillances satellite to track down enemy radars further boosting its capabilities. The low-earth orbit surveillance satellite, launched for military purpose, weighs 436 kg and will monitor and provide the locations of enemy radar sites deep in their territory.

Last year, during the 2+2 dialogue which saw the participation of defense and foreign ministers of both India and the United States of America, the Communication Capability and Security Agreement (COMCASA) agreement was signed between both the countries. It was seen as a landmark deal which would allow India access to key defense technologies in the pretext of stopping Chinese free run in the region.

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India has been looking to procure armed drones to monitor the activities across the border with Pakistan in general and China in particular. The Doklam standoff between both the countries in the past exposed the limitation of options which India has regarding Chinese aggression.

Under COMCASA, India might be given access to certain technologies which are under the Research and Development phase. It could really bolster India’s ability to indigenously produce the hardware which it has admitted stands below par even Pakistan, let alone China.

Such nature of bilateral relations between India and United States is a threat to Pakistan’s national security since India due to its sheer size of the economy has been able to purchase multibillion-dollar, high-tech efficient equipment from multiple suppliers.

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Long term goal in the mind of Indian strategic brass is to counter China, which is far more difficult than getting ahead of Pakistan in terms of military hardware. But the same goal can leave Pakistan far behind in the race and in order to catch up, Pakistan must look for opportunities to broaden its arsenal and improve the existing surveillance and interception technology.