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Rajnath seeks co-development of weapons with US
4/12/2022 11:27:06 PM


New Delhi, Apr 12: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh sought partnership towards co-development and co-production of military equipment with US firms in the just concluded 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the two countries.
"I shared India's desire to take this partnership towards co-development and co-production with US companies. We called for increased investments by US defence companies in India under the Make in India programme," said the minister in his statement.
He said "participation of US entities in Industrial collaboration and partnership in research and development will be critical for success of India's Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign."
Besides, India and the US "prominently" discussed the use of terrorism against India.
"During the meeting, we shared our assessments of the situation in our neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean Region. The use of terrorism as an instrument of statecraft against India came up prominently," the minister further said.
India and the US have agreed to explore further cooperation in the fields of Defence Cyber, Special Forces and expanding the scope of logistics cooperation under LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement) and during joint exercises.
Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement, signed in August 2016, facilitates the military of both countries to use each other's bases for refuelling and replenishment purposes. The agreement has so far remained purely logistical and it doesn't mean that US troops will be stationed in India or vice versa.
"Our extensive engagement has yielded important results. Some of these include concluding a Space Situational Awareness Agreement between the Department of Space from India and Department of Defence of USA, commencing the defence space and defence Artificial Intelligence dialogues in near future, significant progress on other initiatives and agreements under discussion, and a shared desire to increase the scope and complexity of our military exercises," the statement added.
Both sides have also agreed on the need to revitalise the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) with "joint projects on advanced and emerging and critical military technologies, to be executed quickly."
Rajnath Singh said that both India and US share a common vision of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region.
"Our partnership is of critical importance for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region," he said.
Rajnath Singh said that India and US are on course in effectively implementing COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement), and complete implementing of BECA.
Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement or COMCASA, signed in September 2018, facilitates India to use the United States' encrypted communications equipment and systems. The agreement facilitates, Indian and the US military commanders, aircraft and ships to communicate through secure networks in peace and war.
Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) enables both the countries to share highly confidential geospatial information on maps and satellites for defence purposes.
A day after the India US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, Singh said that the two countries had a meaningful discussion and India US co-operation is being further expanded and strengthened.
"Had a very meaningful and in-depth discussion at the 2+2 Ministerial Meeting in Washington DC. During the meeting, we shared our assessments of the situation in our neighbourhood and Indian Ocean Region. India-US Defence Cooperation is being further expanded and strengthened," he tweeted.
His tweet thread added that the meeting is important in strengthening the strategic defence engagement between India and US and it "will enable us to work alongside in areas of mutual interest".
"Our increased cooperation will be critical to maintain peace & security, and to ensure free access to global commons," he said.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar too called the 2+2 Dialogue "productive and substantive."
"Concluded a productive and substantive 2+2 Ministerial Meeting. Discussed contemporary challenges and issues in an open and constructive manner. Resolved that our strategic partnership would continue to grow and play a greater role in shaping the direction of world affairs," the EAM tweeted.
Increasing the depth and scope of their military engagement, including in defence co-production and participating in more joint exercises, and working together to ensure an open, free and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, formed a major part of the fourth 2+2 talks between India and the US on Monday.
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