‘Hot engines’, UAVs: India’s wish list to Pentagon


India has asked the Pentagon for five key technologies, including advanced high-altitude UAVs and “hot engines” for its fighter jets, to bolster its defences, sources said.

New Delhi’s request for detailed proposals and licence requirements under the bilateral defence technology and trade initiative were conveyed to a visiting Pentagon delegation, sources said. US President Barack Obama visits India in January.

While the defence ministry had decided on the four technologies it will ask for from the US, the decision on the fifth would be taken after talking to the army, South Block sources said.

On India’s wish-list was “hot-engine technology” for indigenous light combat aircraft Mark II to be powered by GE-414 jet engine, sources said. This technology allows fighter to operate in hot weather conditions like in deserts without any possibility of an engine failure.

New Delhi is also keen on Raytheon-manufactured “Signature Aperture Radar” that can penetrate thick forests, like the ones found in eastern India. Third on the list is the stealth-coating technology. The coating deadens radar images and would give Indian jets minimum radar profile and maximum survivability in hostile conditions.

India is also asking the Pentagon for long-endurance high-altitude UAV, the Global Hawk, being manufactured by Northrop Grumman. Equipped with synthetic aperture radar, the drone can fly at an altitude of 65,000 feet, stay air-bound for more than 14 hours and survey upto 40,000 sq km terrain in a day.

The defence ministry has also identified Textron-manufactured Scorpion mutation bomb, used for protecting military installations. The final decision would be based on the army’s inputs, sources said.

The Indian request would now be taken up by the Obama administration before co-production can begin under the Make in India programme, sources said.