Looking ahead to strengthen the ties further, India and US signed strategically important 10-year defence framework. The pact will cover joint development and manufacture of defence equipment and technology including jet engines, aircraft carrier design and construction.
The two countries also finalised two other project agreements for hi-tech mobile power source and next generation protective suits for chemical and biological warfare.
The framework agreements were decided during the visit of US President Barack Obama to India early this year in January. The main focus of the agreement covered maritime security and joint training between the armed forces of two countries. The agreement has now been formally signed between Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter.
“Raksha Mantri and Secretary Carter signed the 2015 Framework for the India-US Defence Relationship, which builds upon the previous framework and successes to guide the bilateral defence and strategic partnership for the next ten years,” an official statement by the Defence Ministry said.
In addition, Parrikar and Carter agreed to expedite discussions to take forward cooperation on jet engines, aircraft carrier design and construction, and other areas.
“Both India and the United States have finalised two project agreements for joint development of Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources and the Next Generation Protective Ensembles,” the official statement added.
The two sides also agreed to pursue co-development and co-production projects that will offer tangible opportunities for American defence industries to build partnership with the Indian industries. This is seen as a push to PM Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Carter also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and discussed ways to enhance strategic and defence interest between the two countries which has been trying to come close to each other, especially after the regime change of 2014.
Manohar Parrikar and Ashton Carter also discussed the bilateral defence relationship, and the broader Indo-US Strategic Partnership, reaffirming their commitment to expand and deepen the bilateral defence ties, the statement said.
(With inputs from PTI)