US aims at helping India develop its own defence industrial base: Pentagon

The Biden administration is trying at deepening its army and technical cooperation with India by not solely offering it with arms and tools, but in addition helping New Delhi develop its own defence industrial base to permit it to work with the US and others across the area, a senior Pentagon official has advised lawmakers.

In 2016, the US recognised India as a ‘Major Defense Partner’ below which Washington will proceed to work towards facilitating expertise sharing with India to a stage commensurate with that of its closest allies and companions.

India is an actual accomplice, a rising accomplice of the United States, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs David Helvey mentioned whereas responding to a question from Congressman Doug Lamborn throughout a Congressional listening to on Wednesday on the Indo-Pacific area by the House Armed Services Committee.

“We are looking to … deepen our military-technical cooperation with India that is based on providing them arms and equipment so we can build interoperable forces and capabilities and work with India developing its own defence industrial base so that India is able to produce equipment to service their needs and to be able to work with us and others around the region,” Helvey mentioned.

“We have a unique designation with India; it’s called a Major Defense Partner,” he mentioned, forward of US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin’s first go to to India from March 19 to 21 that’s anticipated to deal with methods to take care of a free and open Indo-Pacific and strengthen total defence and safety ties.

Austin mentioned he could be travelling to India to satisfy his counterpart Rajnath Singh and different senior nationwide safety leaders to debate deepening the US-India Major Defense Partnership and advancing cooperation between the 2 nations.

During the Congressional listening to, Helvey mentioned one of many issues that the US was prioritising is trying at methods to operationalise the protection partnership with India to have the ability to look at methods the place each nations can work collectively within the defence area in pursuit of frequent pursuits primarily based on their converging strategic curiosity.

“I think we all agree that it needs to be a better partner and a counterweight to China, so what is the Biden administration plan to build a stronger partnership with India both economically and militarily?” Congressman Lamborn requested.

“One of the things we would like to be able to do is built on some of the foundational agreements that we have been able to conclude with India in recent years. Say for example, with information security or logistics arrangements to where we can share more information with India so we can build a common strategic understanding of the types of threats that we face together,” Helvey mentioned.

“Look at how we can use our forces and Indian forces in the Indian Ocean region and beyond to be able to work together, whether it’s in maritime domain awareness or maritime security or humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” Helvey mentioned.

Admiral Phil Davidson, Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, responding to the identical question mentioned that over the course of his tenure at INDOPACOM there was some alternative to cooperate within the maritime and to help a bit of bit in info sharing, some cold-weather gear, and issues like that with India’s challenges alongside the Line of Actual Control with China.

“I think it’s gone a long way to deepening our relationship and really presents a key strategic opportunity I think, for the United States,” he mentioned.

In his ready testimony, Helvey mentioned that in South Asia, America’s Major Defense Partnership with India continues to deepen as the 2 nations build interoperability by way of more and more advanced workout routines and rising protection commerce, and thru expanded info sharing and safe communications to deal with problems with shared concern.

“With the completion of all foundational agreements, the partnership is now poised to accelerate. We also are pursuing emerging partnerships with Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Maldives to work cooperatively to ensure the region remains free and open,” he mentioned.

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