India Buys AH-64s
India, now among the world’s largest and most lucrative defense markets, has ordered 22 new AH-64D Apaches, among the most technologically advanced helicopters in the world. The sale, one of several high profile U.S.-India aircraft deals, is one more indication of closer military/security cooperation as India updates its military. India has turned down several prospective deals involving U.S. technology, having not forgotten the military embargo imposed by the U.S. after India’s nuclear tests. Of particular note are the Pakistani and Chinese responses to the sale, which have thus far consisted largely of silence. Two U.S. companies are among others bidding on a highly lucrative deal for 126 advanced fighter aircraft.
Politics is Everything
A factor worth hammering home over and over again is that buying aircraft from international manufacturers rarely depends on actual technical and cost-effectiveness merits; Wikileaked cables show strong U.S. government support for Boeing’s commercial aircraft deals, including overtly trading aircraft for state favors. Though exact details are generally kept quiet, the same marketing occurs in the chaotic defense market. More nefarious acts are often alleged, but rarely proven.
Iran Downs Drones?
Iran claims to have downed two Western reconnaissance drones. The U.S. denies losing any drones. Truth: unknown.
The CIA’s drone war in Pakistan is going full-strength.