US Defence Secretary Praises Growing US-India Defense Collaboration

US Defence Secretary Praises Growing US-India Defense Collaboration
US Defence Secretary Praises Growing US-India Defense Collaboration/IISS
US Defence Secretary Praises Growing US-India Defense Collaboration
US Defence Secretary Praises Growing US-India Defense Collaboration/IISS

US Defence Secretary Praises Growing US-India Defense Collaboration

US Defence Secretary Praises Growing US-India Defense Collaboration

US Defence Secretary Praises Growing US-India Defense Collaboration

Key Highlights:

  1. US and India co-producing jet engines and armored vehicles.
  2. Strong momentum and deep-rooted values anchor US-India ties.
  3. Shangri-La Dialogue underscores the strategic importance of US-India collaboration.

At the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin lauded the strengthening US-India relationship, describing it as the best it has ever been. Highlighting significant defense collaborations, Austin emphasized the co-production of armored vehicles and fighter jet engines as key milestones in bilateral ties.

Addressing Asia’s premier security summit, Austin reflected on the journey to gain approval for India to build jet engines for fighter aircraft. “Years ago, we set out with a notion to gain approval for India to build jet engines for fighter aircraft in India… We were hopeful but very skeptical that we could get this across the finish line. We did it. That’s happening,” he said, adding that the US is also co-producing armored vehicles with India.

Austin underscored the shared values and vision anchoring the progress of both nations. “The anchors of our progress are sunk pretty deep throughout the region, and they’re based on a common vision and common values,” he noted, predicting continued momentum in the partnership. “I believe that the momentum that we see is going to not only continue but… that flywheel is going to pick up speed because this benefits us all.”

The Shangri-La Dialogue, organized annually by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), serves as a key inter-governmental security conference. In April, Austin described the jet engine deal between the US and India as revolutionary. This landmark agreement was unveiled during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official state visit to the US in June of last year, where General Electric and Hindustan Aeronautics signed a memorandum of understanding to produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force.

Additionally, the Biden Administration notified the US Congress in February of a nearly $4 billion arms sale to India, including MQ-9B drones armed with Hellfire missiles. The Defence Security Cooperation Agency highlighted this sale as a means to strengthen the strategic relationship, reinforcing New Delhi’s role as a vital force for stability and progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.

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