expressindia.indianexpress.com
expressindia web
HomeBlogsCricketAstrology ShoppingTendersClassifieds Reader Comments
Font Size
Expressindia » Story

India may get US invite for F-35 flight

Shiv Aroor

Posted: Sep 28, 2005 at 0226 hrs IST

As Washington’s most ambitious and classified fighter aircraft—the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)—readies for a first flight next year, the Pentagon is preparing to extend a special invitation to New Delhi to witness the event at Fort Worth, Texas. This is significant given that India is not a partner country in the multi-billion dollar project.

A senior source at the US Embassy here told The Indian Express, ‘‘In a sense, the programme is closed to non-partner countries. But with the new Indo-US strategic partnership, the US government feels it is appropriate to keep India abreast of the latest technology. It augurs well for future cooperation.’’

Expected to be a high-profile event, the invitees are likely to include the IAF chief, the Defence Secretary and senior South Block officials.

The JSF project—primarily an Anglo-US project—has developed the F-35, an advanced fifth generation fighter for all three forces, which is cheap to procure and maintain, and also capable of performing all possible roles. The partner countries in the project are Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway, who will induct the fighter over the next 15 years.

A spokesperson for the JSF project told The Indian Express in an e-mail from Fort Worth, ‘‘I can tell you that F-35 JSF partnership in the strict sense of the term is closed, but we anticipate selling many F-35s to non-partner nations.’’ He added, ‘‘As you may know, the decision to allow the sale of F-35s to any country is made by the US government, not by Lockheed-Martin.’’

The invitation to Fort Worth, while significant in itself, comes as part of a long line of specific gestures by Washington: Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi took flight in a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet at the Paris Air Show earlier this year; former chief S Krishnaswamy took off in an Israeli F-16 Falcon in October last year; Indian teams have witnessed the Patriot-3 in action at White Sands, New Mexico; and India’s interest in the cutting-edge Boeing P-8A maritime multi-mission jet has been received favourably by the Office of Defence Cooperation.

‘‘The Super Hornet and Falcon are formal contenders for commercial purchases by New Delhi, but witnessing an event of this magnitude is symbolic. It shows that the Bush administration is willing to involve India, even at a non-critical level, in its most exclusive projects,’’ the US Embassy official pointed out.

Print
 
Post Comments
Name* Email ID*
Subject* Country*
Message*
Characters remaining
 
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
I agree to the terms of use.

Latest News

Business

Showbiz

Sports

Akhilesh defends IAS officer's suspension, Centre says justice will be done

Political parties object to Supreme Court order on convicted legislators

Dominant India march to 4-0

CBI gives clean chit to Raja Bhaiya in DSP murder case

2G: Supreme Court slams I-T dept, CBI for not acting on Radia tape information...

4 militants killed by Army in Kashmir

Ishrat case: Accused cops demand more documents from CBI

More
© The Indian Express Limited. All rights reserved
Advertise With Us | Privacy Policy | Feedback | Express Group | Site Map