Co-production and co-development of equipment
New Delhi : India and United States today moved a few steps closer to each other to cement their global strategic partnership and listed ‘Defence ties’ as the key driver to their wider relations spanning across international issues in Afghanistan, Iraq and South China Sea.
Newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told visiting US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel about the “the importance of defence relations in the overall strategic partnership between the two countries”. Modi indicated his desire to see further progress in defence relations, including defence manufacturing and technology transfer in the area of defence besides increased scope of exercises and higher studies in the field of defence, an Indian Government statement said.
BDK Bureau had reported these very issues in its write up on August 7 detailing the agenda for Hagel’s visit to India.
Hagel is on a three-day visit to New Delhi and today he met Modi, besides conducting an hour-long meeting with his counterpart, Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley. Modi welcomed the sustained high-level engagement by the United States with the new Government in India.
Significantly at the Jaitley-Hagel meeting the two countries made a move to work together to co-develop and co-produce cutting-edge military equipment.
The two leaders announced to take forward the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and named the contact person on their respective sides. the Secretary, Department of Defence Production in India and Frank Kendall the Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Licensing at the Pentagon, will represent their countries.
The DTTI was an outcome of the September 2013 dialogue between Barack Obama and Manmohan Singh. By getting down to the operational level the two-officials will draw up list of technologies the US can share with India. The US Department of Defence website quoted Hagel “We can make some progress on getting a better understanding from the Indians what specific projects they may have interest”.
Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby said “Hagel and the Indian leaders discussed the importance of continuing robust defense cooperation, particularly in terms of co-development and co-production, and through military education and training exchanges.”
So far, India has such co-production tie-ups with Russia, France and Israel.
In September 2013 Obama-Singh made a crucial announcement: “The US and India place each other at the same level as their closest partners. This principle will apply to defence technology transfer, trade, research, co-development and co-production for defence articles and services, including the most advanced and sophisticated technology.”
India and US also decided to take steps for the extension of the New Framework for the United States – India defence relationship, well before it expires in July 2015.
The two sides also addressed common security concerns in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and the contentious South China Sea. Part of Hagel’s discussion with Modi, Rear Admiral Kirby said, was on new ways for the United States and India to deepen strategic ties while addressing a range of global issues. “Topics covered in the discussion included Iraq, Afghanistan, the threat of terrorism in the Middle East, as well as security issues in the areas comprised by the Indian and Pacific oceans,” the press secretary said.
Modi is slated to visit the US in September.