It is no secret that India relies on Russian military production for its defense requirements. New Delhi has however taken a different approach by launching the Made in India for the World program, in an attempt to reduce its reliance on Russia and other countries. The program appears to be successful.
India’s Tata Advanced Systems has recently signed an agreement with Airbus to manufacture military transport aircraft. There will be 40 Airbus C295 units built in India, which means “more fuel in the engine of the Indian economy.”
By 2031, the planes are expected to be manufactured at the company’s factory, which will handle 96% of the work.
India’s relations with the United States has improved significantly in recent years. The US F-18 has emerged as a finalist in the Indian Navy’s newest aircraft carrier’s tender for a naval aircraft. TATA workshops produce F-16 fighter wings, and the S-130 military transport aircraft is built entirely in India.
New Delhi is about to completely reverse Russia’s long-held dominance in the field of air weapons systems in India, with TATA and Lockheed Martin negotiating the production of the SR-76 Sikorsky stealth helicopter.
According to Indian sources, the negotiations are in their early stages. A successful conclusion and signing of a deal is anticipated. If the deal comes through it will be a watershed moment in local aircraft engineering and manufacturing.
According to local media, Sikorsky’s iconic SR-76 military helicopter could change the business model of small Indian suppliers. Thousands of components will be manufactured as part of their portfolio. India will want a large number of helicopters manufactured at TATA plants, allowing the US to undermine the Kremlin’s influence not only in India but across Asia as well.
India has a powerful trump card: it already manufactures components and equipment for another key US flagship, the S-92 helicopter. Tata Sikorsky Aerospace Ltd (TSAL) is a joint venture that manufactures cabin aerostructures.
Since 2010, 154 cabs have been delivered to the United States, and the entire structural body of the cab is made from 100% local precision components and parts, totaling 5,000 pieces.
There is also the F-21 deal. The F-21 is a variant of the American F-16 designed specifically for the Indian Air Force. The United States attempted to entice India by offering an almost perfect deal. In other words, if India orders 114 helicopters, the US guarantees that the F-21s will remain exclusively for India and that all maintenance, repairs, and upgrades will be performed in India.
The SR-76 Sikorsky has a good chance of finding a new manufacturing home in the face of the Indian defense industry. It is desired by India, the United States, and the rest of the region. Russia does not want it, but it is the ideal scenario for Washington.