As both nations struggle with China’s economic expansion and rising belligerence, the U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed on Monday strengthening partnerships with India, a significant arms importer, and established a roadmap for collaboration for the next five years, according to authorities.
Austin’s visit occurs as India develops its home defense industry by gaining new technology and decreasing reliance on imports, particularly from Russia, which remains India’s main source of military gear despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
A statement from the Indian Defense Ministry said Austin and Rajnath Singh discussed strategies to create robust supply networks.
They made the decision “to identify opportunities for the co-development of new technologies and the co-production of existing and new systems and facilitate increased collaboration between the defense startup ecosystems of the two countries.”
In order to sustain India’s dominant position as a security provider in the Indo-Pacific, they also reviewed regional security challenges and agreed to improve operational collaboration across the military services, according to the statement.
According to a U.S. official, the new plan for U.S.-India defense industrial collaboration will speed up technology co-production and cooperation in fields like air combat and ground mobility systems, ammunition, and the undersea domain. release from the Department of Defense.
It stated that the initiative’s goal was to “change the paradigm for cooperation between the U.S. and Indian defense sectors, including a set of specific proposals that could give India access to cutting-edge technologies and support India’s plans for defense modernization.”
Cooperation on the internet, space, and artificial intelligence were also discussed.
Austin also had a meeting with Ajit Doval, India’s national security adviser.
“I’m going back to India to meet with influential people and talk about enhancing our Major Defense Partnership.
Together, we’re pushing a common goal for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Austin wrote on Twitter on Sunday after arriving in New Delhi.
Austin, who is currently in India for a second time, was supposed to build the framework for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Washington on June 22, which has fueled rumors about potential defense contract announcements.
Rahul claimed that India is interested in purchasing 18 armed General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles for between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.