On the heels of China’s first missile strike against an orbiting satellite, an American firm specialising in defence electronics and space has signalled that it would like to partner India for developing space technology.
Raytheon has shown willingness to support the Indian Air Force’s plans of setting up an aerospace command to tap the potential of space technology in a futuristic war scenario.
Raytheon Asia president Walter F Doran told HT that he had held talks with IAF chief SP Tyagi who had outlined his vision of the command. Doran, a retired Admiral and former Pacific Fleet commander, said, “India has to define its requirements for setting up an aerospace command. Then we can respond through the US government. The missile strike by China has drawn attention to the field of space.”
As of now, the US firm is involved in executing a space-based navigation programme sponsored by the Indian Space Research Organisation called GAGAN (GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation). Raytheon is also supplying critical sensors for ISRO’s proposed unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan.
Intensifying its focus on India as a strategic market., Raytheon has proposed to supply to the armed forces the Patriot air and missile defence system, SLAMRAAM (surface-launched advanced medium range air-to-air missile) and the standard missile. Doran said the company’s focus in India included naval mission systems integration, an area which will witness hectic activity considering that shipyards have their order books full.
Raytheon will highlight its technology solutions that integrate advanced sensor and weapon systems for multi-role fighter aircraft at an air dominance conference to be held here on January 31- February 1.
Doran said a long-term partnership approach in India with private and public-sector companies would be preferable to a buyer-seller relationship.
Raytheon’s advanced systems currently equip many leading fighter platforms, including the F/A-18, F-15, F-16, F-22 and F-35 (the Joint Strike Fighter). Against that background, it also has stakes in the IAF’s tender for 126 fighters.