India-US Defense Talks Forge Strong Alliances and Technological Advancements in Landmark Meeting
NSA Ajit Doval and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin held a significant meeting in New Delhi on Monday, exchanging ideas on various mutual interests. The leaders emphasized cooperation in niche technologies pertaining to maritime, military, and aerospace domains to enhance capabilities. They discussed the transfer of technology, co-production, and the development of indigenous capacities in line with India’s Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives. The preservation of countries’ freedom of action in different regions, such as the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, and the Indo-Pacific, without coercion into unfavorable choices, was also a focal point. Trusted sources of supply, resilient supply chains, and industry-to-industry partnerships were emphasized to address global challenges.
India expressed its intention to acquire 18 armed high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., amounting to an estimated $1.5 billion to $2 billion. These UAVs are likely to be deployed along India’s sensitive borders with China and Pakistan, as well as in the strategic Indian Ocean region. Furthermore, discussions regarding joint production and manufacture of combat aircraft engines, infantry combat vehicles, howitzers, and precision ordnance were held during a recent meeting of the US-India Defense Policy Group in Washington.
India’s defense trade with the US has witnessed remarkable growth, increasing from virtually nothing in 2008 to over $20 billion in 2020. Notable Indian acquisitions from the US include long-range maritime patrol aircraft, C-130 transport aircraft, missiles, and drones. The meeting between Doval and Austin further strengthens the strategic partnership between the two nations, promoting cooperation and collaboration in the defense sector