The Centre’s refusal to sign the contentious Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) with the United States is set to prove a further setback in the Indo-US relations after two US fighter jets were eliminated from the 12 billion-dollar deal for a 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) last week.
While the ministry of defence (MoD) maintained on Tuesday that discussions were on for the agreements and a decision had not been reached, there were indications that New Delhi was almost deciding against the [agreement].
US state officials said India was having internal consultations, and both nations needed to look at what would be its benefits.
Defence minister AK Antony is said to have told Washington during last year’s US visit that India would not sign these agreements. These deals have been long pending between the two countries and the delay has affected big ticket sales of defence equipment from the US, all of which will be guided by these agreements.
Air Chief PV Naik has said, “The government asked us for our opinion on the matter. We have informed the government that [not signing the CISMOA] will not make a substantial difference as far as our operational capability is concerned”.