March 11, 2009:
The U.S. has long had laws that prevent a wide range of equipment, from being exported, without approval of the government. This is to prevent the wrong nations from benefitting from American technology, especially for military purposes. Now the U.S. State Department, in an unexpected move, has halted the export of ship engines (LM-2500s) to India.
One of the more lucrative American exports is the General Electric LM-2500 gas turbine engines (generating 33,600 horsepower each) for ships and industrial uses. The LM-2500 is so popular that India ordered that Krivak III frigates (being built in Russia) be equipped with the LM-2500 rather than less reliable and efficient Russian engines.
Because the LM-2500 is so popular, dozens of nations use it, and only a few nations are barred from getting it. China bought them, until an embargo was placed on them after 1989 for human rights transgressions. But India has become increasingly friendly with the United States, and opened up its markets to American imports. The recent State Department move is inexplicable, and embarrassing. Moreover, India can obtain the LM-2500 from foreign manufacturers who build the engine under license. It is believed that some new State Department official was trying to impress someone by cracking down on American weapons exports. Point made. Point taken.