No NATO Missile Defence Offer to India

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has not offered to provide ballistic missile shield to India against any possible enemy attacks, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on November 30. He informed parliament that India has not received any offer from the NATO for a partnership in missile defence programme.

In written replies to questions in the Rajya Sabha, he also said that India has also not received any offer from the US for partnering in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) plane programme.

Antony was replying to questions whether the NATO was willing to provide India missile cover from enemy attacks, whether the US-led alliance had invited New Delhi to become a partner in its missile defence programme, or whether the US had offered it a partnership in the development of the F-35 combat plane.

NATO officials had expressed their inclination to offer India missile defence technology during a chat with a group of Indian reporters visiting the 28-nation military alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, in August this year.

Following the ouster of its aircraft manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Boeing from the Indian $10.4-billion tender for 126 combat planes in April this year, there have been media reports quoting the manufacturers of F-35 that they were ready to offer a partnership in their JSF programme. IANS

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