Washington, December 19
As India and the US are working on greater collaboration between defence manufacturing sectors, the conclusion of the industrial security annex or ISA will provide the necessary framework for pursuing co-development and co-production, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Wednesday.
India and the US have a global strategic partnership and the two are working together to further expand and deepen this important partnership, Singh told reporters here, adding that an integral component of the strategic partnership is strong defence.
While 2+2 mechanism has brought about greater synergy in diplomatic and security policies, Singh said noting that the two countries had made a conscious decision to have greater high-level and deeper relationships.
The tri-service exercise of November 2019, that is the Exercise Tiger Triumph, is one such example, Singh said addressing the news conference after the conclusion of the 2+2 dialogue.
In the last few years, India and the US have signed several foundational defence agreements, including the COMCASA, and LEMOA.
“In the last few years, we have made a conscious decision to diversify and indigenise our arms acquisitions. This increased defence trade with the US is one important aspect of this,” Singh told reporters in response to a question.
“We are also working to encourage greater collaboration between defence manufacturing sectors in India in the US. The conclusion of the industrial security annex with the US will provide the necessary framework for pursuing the co-development and co-production linkages in the defence manufacturing centre,” Singh said.
“We hope that this will enable a smooth transfer of classified technology and information,” he added.
Singh said these developments would add value to other key initiatives of the government such as the Make in India and the two defence manufacturing corridors in India.
Esper said the US should look at every opportunity to advance its relationship with India.
Whether it requires a policy change, a regulatory change, or a change to law, “I think those are all the things that we should explore”, he said.
“And Minister Singh and I had a discussion along a couple of these lines earlier today in our bilateral meeting,” Esper said.
Noting that the India-US defence trade had now increased to USD 18 billion, he said this showed the depth and the breadth of this relationship. PTI
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