India is currently a big draw for aircraft manufacturers, thanks to strong local demand and global slowdowns. Both Boeing and Airbus, the major players, are eyeing India for growth. Airbus has even offered to manufacture in India many of its military aircrafts, while Boeing has invested 500 million USD in the subcontinent so far.

The growth in India's tourism is leading to a spurt in commercial airliners making purchases. Indigo for example, one of the few aircraft flyers making a good profit, ordered 100 Airbus aircraft last year at the Paris airshow, while Indian Airlines has jumped into the fray looking to make a Dreamliner purchase.

The military too is flexing its financial muscle. This is helped along very well by the past cooperation between American and Indian air forces. For example, during the 1962 Sino-Indian War had a serious impact on Indo-USA relations as New Delhi quickly modified its nonaligned policy. During the war, Nehru requested USA airforce assistance in the defense of Indian cities and a USA aircraft carrier was sent into the Bay of Bengal in response. Both the UK and the USA began arms aid assistance to India during the war, and then entered into more formal military assistance agreements with India thereafter. The USA aid program, however, was halted during the 1965 Indo- Pakistani war when Washington suspended arms transfers to both states. This continued as USA policy until 1981, with ‘one-time exceptions’ sales permitted on occasion, and the USA withdrew as a major source of arms in South Asia. New Delhi was not too disturbed by this, as Pakistan was considered to be more adversely affected than India which had more diverse sources of foreign military equipment.

With the exception of some noisy but short-term differences between Washington and New Delhi, for instance the USA ‘tilt toward Pakistan’ in the 1971 war, Indo-USA relations in the 1965— 81 period were comparatively free of stress. India generally viewed the USA as a neutral factor in South Asia and no great source of complication for Indian policy. The USA saw India as an occasional irritant in broader international issues, but on balance a useful force because of the stabilizing role it played in a non-Communist South Asia.

Pakistan has never drawn the same level of interest from the United States. If we look at the comparative strengths of the military, it becomes quite clear why. For India, the numbers are Armed Forces: 1,260,000; Army: 1,100,000; Navy: 47,000; Airforce: 113,000; Paramilitary Forces: 255,000. For Pakistan however, the number are Armed Forces: 480,600; Army: 450,000; Navy: 13,000; Airforce: 17,600; Paramilitary Forces: 164,000. Only about half of India's.

Th British have not always had such a perfect relationship however. Before Independence, in 1946, the personnel of the R.I.N. in Bombay revolted in order to “protest against the continued racial discrimination and complaint in regard to pay, food, clothing, allowances, leave and travel facilities and the invidious distinction between the terms of demobilisation between the British and Indian demobilisation personnel*1. The mutiny had spread to all the twelve shore establishments in Bombay effecting about 20,000 ratings. The Congress and the Muslim League flags were hoisted on the ships instead of the Union Jack. The situation deteriorated up to this extent that there broke out gun battles between the ratings and the British troops lasting six hours, till the Britishers ceased fire. In sympathy of the ratings 300,000 dock workers and 1,000 men of Royal Indian Air Force went on strike. The entire country was shocked on these happenings and there was growing restlessness among the disgruntled leaders and masses and the smouldering dames of a revolutionary spirit among disloyal soldiery, military and police alike.