Agni II missile
US proposes to develop Anti tank missile system with India (representational image)Reuters

In what is seen as growing defence ties between India and US, the later has made a proposal to develop a defence system, which is said to be the key requirement for both the nations.

US has proposed to jointly develop next generation Javelin antitank missile capability with India, reported Indo-Asian News Service on Tuesday.

The Javelin is a man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile developed by US and deployed in 1996. It has the lock-on feature before launch and can automatically self-guide to the target. The capabilities of this antitank missile include attacking surface and air targets.  

Areas of progress include technology transfer, licensing agreements, license exceptions, end-use monitoring among others.

Speaking at a press conference during his visit to India last month, Ashton Carter, US deputy defence secretary, said that it was time to tap the enormous untapped potential between our private sectors in the defence field.

During the visit, he had tabled a second round of potential capability areas of cooperation proposed by US industry to increase the partnership between the two nations. Carter also added that US has demonstrated that it can release sensitive technology to India.

India is developing the third generation fire-and-forget antitank missile system Nag, which can be mounted on Advanced Light Helicopter and Light Combat Helicopter. This variant is named as HELINA (Helicopter Nag). India also plans to develop the antitank missile, which can also be mounted on fighter aircraft jaguar, land version and also man portable version. 

Carter also said that US has taken steps to identify forward-leaning proposals by the industry in both nations for the defence items to be jointly produced.  "These include a maritime helicopter, a naval gun, a surface-to-air missile system and a scatterable antitank system, all of which were discussed with Indian officials during his recent visit", he added. 

The proposal comes in the time when India is planning to focus on indigenisation of its defence system. Currently, the public sector units such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited among others assemble and manufacture large defence systems such as electronic systems, helicopters, and fighter aircraft among others. The Indian private sector develops smaller components to build large systems.