NATO offers missile defense cooperation to India

NATO seeks to strengthen ties with India

From the Times of India:  In a move that holds great strategic significance, Nato has offered to share its missile defence technology with India to build its capability to shoot down incoming enemy missiles, realising the commonality of threats faced by the 28-nation grouping and South Asia’s pre-eminent power.

India, thus, becomes the only nation, apart from Russia, outside of the Nato that the US-led military alliance is willing to work in the critical missile defence technology sector. . . .

"You (India) have a missile threat that confronts you. We (Nato) have a missile threat that confronts us. Our need to defend against these missile threats might be the same," a senior Nato official told a group of Indian journalists on a visit to the group’s headquarters here.

Asked to specify the area that Nato can cooperate with India on missile defence, the official, who did not wish to be named, said: "One will be in the technology of defence."

The official noted that the threats that India and Nato faced may come from different directions and Nato doesn’t necessarily see the threats that India sees.

"Because your strategic situation is different from ours. But the technology of discovering and intercepting missiles is the same," he said. 

From the Hindu:  Another top U.S. official at NATO, however, said that the area of missile defence was also of interest to the Indo-U.S. partnership and “could be more U.S.-Indian relationship, than a NATO-Indian. But we are getting into ballistic missiles defence systems in a pretty big way“.

He said, “as a result, we have knowledge which you can share and we can train together. Even though the threat is different the nature of the response can be similar“.

What that involves ultimately will depend on India, the official said, adding that “there are experiences that we could talk about and share them“.

The U.S. by itself has been suggesting a partnership for India in its national missile defence programe. It has also offered the Patriot missile defence system to India.

While India has accepted briefings on the U.S.-missile defence programme, it has so far been charting an independent course. India’s DRDO is indigenously developing a two—tier missile defence system to intercept enemy ballistic missiles, which is scheduled to become operational by 2015.  (photo: India TV News)

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