India can look forward to more lethal missiles, superior rockets and sturdier satellites, with US President Barack Obama lifting controls on high-end technology exports to India.
In tune with expectations, Obama on Monday paved the way for Indian defence and space firms to shop for critical equipment from the US by knocking them off a no-business list, called the entity list.
The announcement was made at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after delegation-level talks at Hyderabad House.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and state-owned Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) will no longer be subjected to specific licence requirements for the transfer of dual-use technologies.
If the DRDO has set its sights on perfecting seeker technology for its missiles, ISRO is gunning for high-end microprocessors for use in the supercomputers onboard satellites as well as cutting-edge microwave technology for satellites and rockets. Seekers help missiles pick and destroy targets.
A DRDO source said, “Seeker and sensor technologies have not been our forte. The lifting of restrictions comes as a booster shot for the defence sector.”
An ISRO official said, “Now we are buying technologies from Europe…But the US offers better technologies at competitive prices.” ISRO will consider importing testing technology for satellites, which will allow scientists to test whether satellites can “withstand rigors of space”.
A DRDO source said, “So far we were collaborating with the US only in areas such as life sciences, agriculture and medicine…Now we can look forward to the flow of well-guarded technologies in areas such as missile development, aerospace, nuclear, biological and chemical warfare and nanotechnology for military applications.”
DRDO laboratories that were barred from accessing technologies included Solid State Physics Laboratory, Advanced Systems Laboratory, Aeronautical Development Agency and Defence Research and Development Laboratory.
A defence ministry source said, “BDL can now import specialised US equipment…Until now, US firms could not bid for tenders.” The firm’s manufacturing activities include strategic missiles, anti-tank guided missiles and long-range surface-to-air missiles. “Now the gates are open,” the ISRO official said. However, it will be some time before any concrete deals can go through because the process usually takes six months.
ISRO, DRDO and state-owned Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) will not be subjected to licence requirements for the transfer of dual-use technologies
DRDO has can now aim at perfecting seeker technology for its missiles
ISRO can get high-end microprocessors for use in supercomputers on satellites as well as cutting-edge microwave technology for satellites and rockets.