It appears to be an exciting development for the Indian defence forces and armament enthusiasts. India is signing a pact to import Swedish defence technology during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Stockholm this week. The transfer of technology will happen when the Swedish defence company Saab chooses to build fighter jets in the country.
It started on April 16, and is an Indian PM’s first visit in 30 years to this Scandinavian country known for famous brands like Ikea and Skype. Sweden hopes to better its trade and commercial ties with India. Apart from this agreement, both the countries will work on an action plan that pushes innovative partnership.
Saab has promised a full technology transfer of the Gripen-E fighter jet to India if it gets the deal to provide a huge fleet of the aircrafts to Indian Air Force. The Gripen-E fighter jet is an advanced upgrade to the Gripen C/D, a lightweight single-engine aircraft with advanced avionics systems.
This will be quite helpful to the IAF as it has begun the process to procure 110 fighter jets, a project worth more than $9 billion. Saab will be building the world’s most modern aerospace center in India as well. This will complement a local supplier base of auxiliary aircraft parts.
Save aerospace, India and Sweden are in the process of setting a cybersecurity task force. The countries will look to find innovative and create inventive solutions to fight against cyberspace threats.
This announcement was made after Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and PM Modi held bilateral talks in Stockholm. The meetings included Prime Ministers of Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. The meeting involved through discussion in areas, such as renewable energy, defence, trade, and investments.
Narendra Modi said, “One of the main pillars of our bilateral relations is defence and security cooperation. Sweden has been a partner of India in the defence sector for a long time. I am confident that in this sector, especially in the defence production sector, there will be new opportunities for cooperation in future.”
This is possibly a new era of co-operation and link-building for India as we’re finding new friends in all corners of the world. Yet, the sudden increase of armament may increase the chances of a cold war between India and some of its unfriendly neighbors.