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MAY 2016 ISSUE

India, US Announce In-principle Agreement on Military Logistics Exchange
 
Manohar Parrikar

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar and U.S Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter reviewed the progress and reiterated their commitment to pursue co-development and co-production of advanced defence articles under the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI). Secretary Carter was on an official trip to India from April 10-13 where he was hosted by the defence minister Manohar Parrikar in Goa. They visited the Indian Naval Base in Karwar and the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. They also visited the USS Blue Ridge which was conducting a port call in Goa during the Secretary’s visit. Secretary Carter then traveled to New Delhi for official talks where he also met the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Parrikar and Carter welcomed the efforts by the Indian and U.S. Armed Forces to further expand collaboration in the years to come. They welcomed plans across our Services for greater complexity in their military engagements and exercises, including developing plans for more advanced maritime exercises. Both sides acknowledged India's participation in the Rim-of-the-Pacific (RIMPAC) multilateral naval exercise in 2016 as well as participation by the Indian Air Force in the multilateral Red Flag exercise in April-May 2016 in Alaska and U.S. participation in the International Fleet Review of the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam in February 2016.They expressed their desire to explore agreements which would facilitate further expansion of bilateral defence cooperation in practical ways. In this regard, they announced their in principle agreement to conclude a ‘Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement’, and to continue working toward other facilitating agreements to enhance military cooperation and technology transfer.

Both sides agreed to initiate two new DTTI pathfinder projects on Digital Helmet Mounted Displays and the Joint Biological Tactical Detection System. They commended the on-going discussions at the Jet Engine Technology Joint Working Group (JETJWG) and the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC). They agreed to work towards greater cooperation in the field of cutting-edge defence technologies, including deepening consultations on aircraft carrier design and operations, and jet engine technology. They noted the understanding reached to conclude an information exchange annex (IEA) to enhance data and information sharing specific to aircraft carriers. In support of Make-in-India, the United States shared two proposals to bolster India's suite of fighter aircraft for consideration of the government of India.

Parrikar and Carter welcomed the finalisation of four government-to-government project agreements in the area of science and technology cooperation: Atmospheric Sciences for High Energy Lasers, Cognitive Tools for Target Detection, Small Intelligent Unmanned Aerial Systems, and Blast and Blunt Traumatic Brain Injury.

In support of the India-U.S. Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region and the maritime security objectives therein, both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of maritime security. In this context, they reaffirmed their desire to expeditiously conclude a ‘white shipping’ technical arrangement to improve data sharing on commercial shipping traffic. They agreed to commence Navy-to-Navy discussions on submarine safety and anti-submarine warfare. They also agreed to launch a bilateral Maritime Security Dialogue, co-chaired by officials at the Joint Secretary/Assistant Secretary-level of the Indian Ministries of Defence and External Affairs and the U.S. Departments of Defence and State.

Secretary Carter and Raksha Mantri Parrikar reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, including in the South China Sea. They vowed their support for a rules-based order and regional security architecture conducive to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean, and emphasised their commitment to working together and with other nations to ensure the security and stability that have been beneficial to the Asia-Pacific for decades.

The United States and India share a deep and abiding interest in global peace, prosperity, and stability. Bilateral defence cooperation is a key component of the strategic partnership between India and the United States. Secretary Carter’s visit marked the fourth meeting between him and Parrikar within a year, demonstrating the regular ministerial-level oversight of the robust and deepening bilateral defence relationship.

 
 


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