2016-08-16 15:51:57 UTC
As China becomes more and more forceful, due to its ability to project bigger, stronger, and more long-distanced economic and military power --- including the building of military bases in Africa, something the Europeans and Americans have done for centuries --- America is also ratcheting up its "pivot to Asia" activity, even during these last few months of Obama's presidency.
With India and China continuously having more than little verbal and military skirmishes in western China and northern India, over disputes, and with both India and China buying their top-end from Russia....for decades now... India seems to be also doing somewhat of a pivot of its own, in military buys.
India recently concluded, I believe, a deal to buy close to 40 French Rafale fighter jets, even though it also put in some ordered, along with a few billion dollars, to buy Russia's up-coming Pak T-50, which is mostly still flying on an older engine, awaiting its new engine, which won't be finished for another 5 ore more years.
Now, India's also turning to the USA, for more top-end air force needs; it has recently turned down Lockheed Martin's old, 4th generation F-16... so Boeing is trying to sell India it's F-18 super hornets.
But the consensus thinking out there is, India is LIKELY to ask for Lockheed Martin's newest fighter, the F-35... and the thinking, while still tentative, is that India is LIKELY going to be approved for it... if not right away, perhaps 3-5 years down the road...
And getting an approval to "buy," (whenever that okay is given), of course, doesn't mean you're going to get the F-35 right away, since there are 10 other countries who have been with the US from the start and even they haven't gotten theirs. Most won't have their initial deliveries of a few until 3-5 years from today... so getting the okay to buy the F-35 by India --- or by another other "late comers" (e.g., Malaysia, etc) --- in "3 to 5 years" won't get you any F-35 until probably 6 to 10 years from that date... America will want to have at least 90% of its 2,400 F-35 before it starts to deliver good chunks of them to ally countries like Britain, Italy, Norway, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, etc.
Israel is the one exception: Israel is the only country that gets pretty much any thing it wants from the USA --- not all but pretty much most things --- and it likely will get many of its F-35 before most other ally countries, since America considers Israel's needs much more urgent and special than any other ally countries needs...
Note that we give Israel, a tiny nation of 8M (like Laos population) of EXTREMELY EDUCATED AND HIGH INCOMES roughly $3B-$5B YEARLY... so a lot of that could be used towards purchasing American weapon systems...