Setting a precedent in the growing Indo-US defense and military relationship, India has signed up to partner with the US on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program according to US defense website DoDBUZZ.
The report says Kevin Fahey, program executive officer for ground combat systems, announced that India ‘signing of a letter of intent to participate in the next phase of the program’.
This is the first time that India is partnering with the US in the joint development of military hardware. Australia is already a partner in the program. According to the report, both countries will have the benefit of ‘lower costs’, if they ‘stick with it’. The JLTV is meant to replace the existing High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), better known as the Humvee, and is designed for an armored combat and scout role.Significantly, at the moment the armies of both countries are conducting an exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas (War Exercise) 09’ at Babina near Jhansi in India. The US deployment includes 17 Stryker vehicles. According to the Indian Army, the exercise will focus on Counter Insurgency (COIN) and Counter Terrorism operations in a semi-urban scenario. Presumably, the Indian Army will also be scoping out the Strykers as well as possibly, the Javelin anti-tank guided missile.