* India’s new government introduced its 2014-15 budget with a focus on economic growth and public deficit reduction. Defense sees a 12% increase to Rs 2,29,000 crore (about $38.2B). The Indian press was surprised by finance (and defense) minister Arun Jaitley‘s taste for small budget allocations to a high number of initiatives (Rs 100 crore means 1 billion rupees or less than $17M). Jaitley intends to speed up defense procurement, as well as improve logistical access to border areas. The government also confirmed the lift in the limit to foreign direct investment in defense firms from 26% to 49%.
* Britain’s foreign minister William Hague was in India earlier this week where he pitched the Eurofighter since the Rafale deal has still not been finalized. In the meantime the UK got a £250M ($428M) order for MBDA ASRAAMs to equip the IAF’s Jaguars. India is also equipping their Jaguars with GPS-guided tank-killing cluster bombs.
* India’s government announced a $100M line of credit to support the sale of defense items to Vietnam.
US Rebounding Contract Awards
* The Pentagon awarded $40.9B in contracts (worth $6.5M or more) last June. Driven by large bomber and helicopter deal, this marks a sharp increase from the lull seen so far this year, and came 7% above June 2013.
* Huntington Ingalls Industries will offer on-site healthcare centers for the families of its employees starting next year.
Not So Nice
* The German federal government asked the representative of intelligence services at the US embassy to leave Germany, as revelations of American spying kept piling up.
* In today’s video Lieutenant General Kenneth J. Glueck, Jr. explains at the Simpson Center how the US Marine Corps works alongside the Navy: