India, US ink new framework for defence agreement

India, US ink new framework for defence agreement

India, US ink new framework for defence agreement

India and the United States on Wednesday inked a new framework agreement for defence cooperation.

The two countries also concluded negotiations for agreements to jointly develop gears to protect soldiers from chemical and biological weapons as well as a hybrid power generating system.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited US companies to manufacture military hardware in India “with transfer of technology and link to the global supply chain”, even as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his American counterpart Ashton Carter signed the 2015 framework agreement in New Delhi.

The agreement renewed a similar deal India and US had inked for bilateral defence cooperation in 2005. While the old agreement had validity up to this year, the new deal would not only pave way for continued cooperation for another 10 years, but also expand the scope of the ties.

Carter, who is on his maiden visit to New Delhi after taking charge as US Defence Secretary, told Modi that India “is an important strategic partner”.

“The US policy of rebalance in Asia Pacific complimented India’s Act East Policy. The US authorities were committed to the expeditious implementation of the decisions reached between the leaders of the two countries,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office quoted Carter as saying.

Modi expressed hope that the US companies, including the ones in the defence manufacturing sector, would “actively participate in the ‘Make in India’ initiative” and set up plants in India with “transfer of technology and link to the global supply chain.”

Carter said that the US has been encouraging companies to set up manufacturing units in India with transfer of technology.

Parrikar and Carter later reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence cooperation, including on the India-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, which focuses particularly on co-development and co-production of military hardware.

According to the sources in American and Indian governments, New Delhi and Washington completed negotiations for agreements to implement the first phase of two pathfinder projects.

One of the projects would seek to develop a Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources, which could mitigate the heavy burden of logistics resupply required for soldiers of “expeditionary services”.

The other project is intended to develop the “Next Generation Protective Ensembles” or NGPE, which would enable soldiers “to operate in chemical and biological environments with no or minimal degradation in performance.”

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