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Article: US, India agree roadmap for defense industry cooperation

U.S. Army and Indian Marine Commandos Special Operations Forces extract via a U.S. Army Chinook during Rim of the Pacific

US, India agree roadmap for defense industry cooperation

PHOTO CAPTION: U.S. Army and Indian Marine Commandos Special Operations Forces extract via a U.S. Army Chinook during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. Hawaii, July 7, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Dylan Lavin via U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)



By YP Rajesh

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India and the United States have concluded a roadmap for defence industry cooperation for the next few years, theIndian government said on Monday, a move expected to bolster New Delhi's defence manufacturing ambitions.

Washington is working to deepen ties with India and sees stronger military-to-military and technology ties with the world's largest democracy as a key counterweight to China's dominance in the region.

The roadmap was finalised at a meeting between visiting U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The agreement comes weeks before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Washington on June 22 for an official state visit and holds talks with President Joe Biden.

The roadmap is considered significant as Washington maintains strict controls over what domestic military technology can be shared or sold to other countries.


Talks between Singh and Austin had a "particular focus on identifying ways to strengthen industrial cooperation", the Indian Defence Ministry statement said.

"Both sides will identify opportunities for co-development of new technologies and co-production of existing and new systems and facilitate increased collaboration between defence start-up ecosystems of the two countries," it said.

"Towards these objectives, they concluded a roadmap for U.S.-India Defence Industrial Cooperation which shall guide the policy direction for the next few years."

India, the world's largest arms importer, depends on Russia for nearly half its military supplies, but has also increasingly diversified its sources to buy from the U.S., France and Israel, among others.

New Delhi also wants global defence manufacturers to partner with Indian companies and produce arms and military equipment in India for local consumption as well as exports.

The Biden administration is set to sign off on a deal that will allow General Electric Co to produce in India jet engines powering Indian military aircraft.

Austin said he and Singh had discussed ways to increase information sharing and new initiatives to improve maritime cooperation, including in the undersea domain.

The U.S.-India defence partnership matters, he told reporters, because "we face a rapidly changing world".

"We see bullying and coercion from the People's Republic of China, Russian aggression against Ukraine that seeks to redraw borders by force and threatens national sovereignty, as well as transnational challenges such as terrorism, climate change.

"So democracies must now rally together around not just our common interests but also our shared values," Austin said.

(Reporting by YP Rajesh, additional reporting by Sakshi DayalEditing by Gareth Jones)



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