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A first: US allowed to check Indian warship

US inspects defense equipment as per Indo-US agreement. Wonder what came of such ‘inspections’ in Pakistan?

Is India trying the Soviet dance steps with the 'American' partner? Things have changed ...  |  Cartoon by Tom Toles; courtesy - usnews.com.

Is India trying the Soviet dance steps with the ‘American’ partner? Things have changed … | Cartoon by Tom Toles; courtesy – usnews.com.

2ndlook Point Of View One Year Ago

To handle the China threat, India made, arguably, one of the best moves possible. An alliance with Soviet Russia.

Is India doing the same thing now. Cosying upto USA, to seek an US umbrella against Chinese thunder? Just one thing needs to be remembered.

US is no Soviet Union – as allies go.

India has for the first time permitted the US to inspect an Indian warship to ensure that the navy was not distorting its use, a senior source in the defence establishment has confirmed to The Telegraph.

This is the first time that India permitted an “intrusive” inspection of one of its key military platforms by foreigners.

Ironically, the first inspection in the country has happened under defence minister A.K. Antony’s watch even though he is particularly touchy on the subject of defence relations with the US.

But instead of allowing the US “Golden Sentry” team to board and examine the equipment, the Indian Navy removed the equipment from the warship ‘ also imported from the US ‘ and asked the inspectors from Pentagon to check them at a different location.

The navy is still queasy and uncomfortable about allowing foreign inspectors to check its platforms. But it was complying with the provisions of an End-User Monitoring Agreement that India standardised with the US in 2009.

An Indian navy source said: “We are complying with what was agreed between governments,” but he declined to call the inspection “intrusive”.

Queried by The Telegraph, a US embassy official said: “These (such inspections) are really in the domain of government-to-government relations between India and the US and in accordance with legal requirements.”

The inspection took place in late 2011. Since then, the Indian Navy has refitted the INS Jalashva ‘ formerly the USS Trenton. Much of the new electronic equipment such as navigational aids have been manufactured in India’s own defence public sector undertakings like Bharat Electronics Limited.

The INS Jalashva (L41) was known as the USS Trenton before the Indian Navy inducted it in its eastern fleet in June 2007 at a cost of about $50 million plus about $40 million for six helicopters.

The purchase of the USS Trenton was red-flagged by the comptroller and auditor general in a March 2008 report.

The equipment the US inspectors asked to check were night-vision devices used by the INS Jalashva landing platform dock and its six onboard UH-3H Seaking maritime utility transport helicopters.

Distinctly uncomfortable with the US request to inspect the equipment, the navy at first tried to fob it off. But then reached a compromise.

The navy told the US inspectors that it would remove the components from the Jalashva that is based at the eastern fleet headquarters in Vishakhapatnam where they could be checked.

It is understood that the devices were removed from the ship and the helicopters and taken to an airfield/helipad where the inspection was carried out.

India has signed or has in the pipeline $10 billion of US-origin military hardware. Each of the projects is liable to be inspected under the US’ Arms Export Control Act administered by the Pentagon’s DSCA that has to submit “annual compliance reports”.

The US has end-user agreements with about 80 countries but it is still politically unpalatable in many countries.

Military equipment, such as the INS Jalashva, purchased through a government-to-government foreign military sales programme are subject to inspections under the Pentagon’s “Golden Sentry” programme that dispatches “Tiger Teams” to do the job.

Direct commercial sales of military hardware by US-based companies to India are subject to inspections under a programme called “Blue Lantern”.

via A first: US allowed to check Indian warship – Yahoo! News India (embedded links supplied).

  1. August 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm

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