On the political aspect, here is the worry. A lot of our equipment is still Russian and while a CAATSA waiver was likely (till Secretary of Defense James Mattis' resignation last week), that is now up in the air. There is no guarantee that the incoming Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan will see India in the same light as General Mattis did. And the CAATSA waiver is just for the S-400 purchase. But let us assume that the CAATSA waiver is still in effect for the S-400. US policy makers have however said that repeated waivers will be tough and there are a lot more Russian hardware coming in the pipeline in the future. Here are just three examples;
1) Follow on Akula lease, when INS Chakra-II (ex-Nerpa) returns to the Russian Navy in 2022.
2) The recent order for four Admiral Grigorovich Class frigates, to add on to the six current Talwar Class frigates.
3) The Indian Army's FRCV (Future Ready Combat Vehicle) competition in which the T-14 Armata is a shoe-in. The other competitors in the contest are only there for show and to remove any semblance of favoritism.
Now the CAATSA law clearly states that nations must show reduced dependence on Russian hardware in order to get a waiver. How is that possible in the light of above? Please see below...
CAATSA Sections 231 and 235
Section 231, Part C
(c) DELAY OF IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS.—The President may delay the imposition of sanctions under subsection (a) with respect to a person if the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees, not less frequently than every 180 days while the delay is in effect, that the person is substantially reducing the number of significant transactions described in subsection (a) in which that person engages.
Read the whole link when you have time. The hypocrisy and bellicosity of the language in the above US law is eye opening. It is for that reason that the Indian Govt has repeatedly said that we only recognize laws of the United Nations and not the laws of a foreign nation.
In light of all this, it is best to do a follow on order of 2 - 4 more Rafale squadrons and launch a competition for a 5th generation platform, till our own AMCA comes on board in the 2030s. I am not advocating alienating the US from the Indian defence market, but the tip of your spear should not be subject to the political whims and fancies of a foreign nation. One thing to get C-17s, C-130s, AH-64s, CH-47s, P-8Is and MH-60Rs. The F-16 and F-18 are a whole different ballgame.
The most important tie up with an American fighter plane was the JETJWG (Jet Engine Technology Joint Working Group). Now with that gone, what is the incentive really? No nation will give you their crown jewels on engine technology.
2+2 should finally yield 4
https://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes. ... y-yield-4/
At its last meeting in July, DTTI’s jet engine working group was shut down for lack of progress. They chose to call it a “strategic pause”. Apparently, the divergence between what India wanted and what the US and General Electric were willing to offer was too wide. It’s obvious that GE will not part with its crown jewel having spent billions in R&D. As someone said, “it’s the one thing the company has”. GE executives saw it as a compromise of their intellectual property to even suggest improvements in an indigenous Indian engine (Kaveri). Differences also emerged because the US wanted a measure of where India was in terms of indigenous engine technology. India was not keen on open access and benchmarking.
Also see this ---> viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3351&p=2234699&hilit=JETJWG#p2234699