India, US to move beyond buyer-seller ties on defence

India, US to move beyond  buyer-seller ties on defence

India and United States will on Thursday discuss over a dozen projects for co-production and co-development of military hardware.

Efforts to take bilateral defence cooperation beyond buyer-seller ties are likely to get a boost during American president Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi next month. The India-US political military dialogue, scheduled to take place on Thursday, will also discuss ways to ease bilateral defence trade. 

“We have been discussing more than a dozen co-production and co-development projects with India and we hope to move on some of these going forward,” Puneet Talwar, the US assistant secretary of state for political military affairs, said on Wednesday.

He noted that the US, over the past seven years brought down the average time to process requests for licences for export of military hardware to India by almost 40 per cent. The American government at present turned down just one per cent of the requests for licences for export of defence equipment to India, he added.

Talwar is on a tour to New Delhi and he will on Thursday lead the US delegation in the India-America political military dialogue, which is likely to focus on co-development and co-production of weapon system and other defence equipment.

“To us, our defence relationship with India is not transactional; it is an investment in our future together. We want to move beyond a buyer-seller relationship, towards one of co-development and co-production, where both of our nations will benefit,” he said at an event at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses.

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