India, US finalise roadmap for fast-tracking defence tech transfer, co-development of military platforms

New Delhi: India and the US on Monday concluded an ambitious roadmap for defence industrial cooperation to fast-track technology tie-ups and co-production of military platforms like air combat and land systems, a move that comes amid China’s increasingly aggressive posturing in the Indo-Pacific.

Besides firming up the roadmap two weeks ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his American counterpart Lloyd Austin, in their wide-ranging talks, also agreed to initiate negotiations on the security of supply arrangement and a reciprocal defence procurement pact to promote supply chain stability.

At a media briefing, the US defence secretary said the US-India cooperation matters “because we all face a rapidly changing world. We see bullying and coercion from the People’s Republic of China and Russian aggression against Ukraine that seeks to redraw borders and threatens national sovereignty.” Austin, who arrived in Delhi on Sunday on a two-day visit, said the India-US partnership is a “cornerstone” for a free and open Indo-Pacific and that the US is putting its “full weight” behind supporting India’s defence modernisation.

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