US to Sell high-tech chemical protective clothing to India

The United States will be selling high-tech Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) protective clothing worth $75 million to India. For the first time, the Pentagon has notified the sale of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) Support Equipment, the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) protective clothing, to the US Congress.  The entire package includes 38,034 M50 general purpose masks, 38,034 units of suits, trousers, gloves,  boots and NBC bags; 854 aprons; 854 alternative aprons; 9,509 Quick Doff Hoods; and 114,102 M61 filters.

Significance

JSLIST protective clothing when used with the chemical protective mask would shield the Indian Soldiers from exposure to any kind of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare that can result in a serious injury. The protective clothing  includes the suit, boots and gloves, pairs of trousers and NBC bags and can be worn for up to 24 hours in contaminated areas.

Background

The India-US defence partnership is among the fastest growing in the world. In the past few years, the US has signed more than $10 billion in defence sales to India. This also the first major foreign defence sale approved by the Trump administration. 

Obama administration had designated India as a major defence partner, which places India at par with other major allies of the US in terms of defence trade and sharing of technologies. In June 2015, India and the US had renewed this Defence Framework Agreement for the next 10 years. The Defence framework paves way for high level strategic discussions, continued exchanges between armed forces of both countries, and strengthening capabilities. 

India’s formal cooperation with US in the area of defence also includes bilateral engagement on defence through the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and the India-US Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) Agreement. While the DTTI facilitates cooperation in defence research and development, the RDT&E Agreement facilitates co-production and co-development of projects like sharing and design of aircraft carrier technology and explore possible cooperation on development of jet engine technology.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017

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