India-US defence cooperation may see joint research in critical areas
India and the US are keen on enhancing defence industrial cooperation
India and the US are looking at joint research in critical areas as they seek to strengthen cooperation in defence technology.
Meeting in New Delhi on Friday (November 10, 2023), Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin undertook comprehensive discussions on a wide range of defence and strategic issues.
"Excellent meeting with @SecDef Lloyd Austin. We talked about ways to further strengthen defence relationship between our nations. The scope for cooperation in defence is immense.
We are charting new pathways of cooperation by pursuing stronger defence industrial engagement and ensuring resilient supply chains in all domains," Defence Minister Singh posted on X.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the ministers explored ways and means to advance their defence technology cooperation with joint research in critical areas.
During the meeting, there was particular focus on enhancing defence industrial cooperation and getting the defence industries from both sides together to cooperatively co-develop and co-produce defence systems. In this context, they reviewed the progress of the India-US Defence Industrial Ecosystem, INDUS-X, which was launched in June this year.
The initiative aims to expand the strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses and academic institutions of India and US.
During the meeting, the two leaders also drew up an agenda for future joint work for their teams.
Defence Minister Singh symbolically handed over to Secretary Austin some items recovered in Assam as part of the US Defence POW MIA Accounting Agency Mission. The items include parts of parachute, uniform and airplane of the US forces from the World War II-era, the Ministry of Defence said.
India-US defence cooperation has been on a positive trajectory over the past several years.
The 17th meeting of the India-US Defence Policy Group (DPG) held in Washington DC on Wednesday on May 17, 2023 saw the two sides review the progress made in advancing defence industrial cooperation and operationalizing the India-US Major Defence Partnership.
Important aspects such as military-to-military cooperation, implementation of foundational defence agreements, exercises and the ongoing & future cooperative activities in the Indian Ocean Region were discussed at this meeting.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing interoperability and collaboration between the Indian and American forces so that they may collaborate across all services and domains.