Defense officials said that if India begins using the catapult technology, then there could be opportunities for India to buy U.S.-made FA-18 fighter jets or other aircraft that use that launching system. Today, India has more joint exercises with the United States than with any other country in the world. The breakthrough came as U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with his counterpart, Manohar Parrikar.
“We’re going to accelerate the military campaign as fast as we can”, he said. It claims to be champion of non-proliferation but has entered into a long-term nuclear accord with India, which has opened floodgates of nuclear technology for a country whose peaceful credentials are disputable. This included a tactical bio (logical) detection unit, Carter said. F-16s are meant for military operations against terrorists in FATA. “We have approved it. We take terrorism emanating from Pakistan very seriously”, Carter added.
“Efficiently moving forward on a fighter jet to be manufactured in India can be a feather in the cap of the current government from a defense perspective”, said Anurag Garg, director at PwC Strategy& in India.
In a joint press conference with U.S. defence secretary Ashton Carter, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said the countries have agreed “in principle” to conclude the agreement soon.
The U.S. administration has been wanting India to sign three agreements to deepen the already existing India-US military relationship.
“This is just another name for the Logistic Support Agreement (LSA) that the USA enters into with military allies like the Philippines, South Korea and Japan”, the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.
And he announced two $1 million joint research ventures.
“#SecDef meets with @PMOIndia to discuss the significant progress on US-India defense relationship and innovation”, the US Department of Defense posted on Twitter. President Barack Obama and other top U.S. officials are expected to attend the U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council Leaders’ Summit next week in Saudi Arabia. Even as we work with the United States to realize the full potential of Indias Act East policy, we also seek a closer partnership with the United States to promote our shared interests in Indias West, especially in the context of the emerging situation in West Asia. “We strongly believe in curbing terrorism originating in the territory of Pakistan and we fully recognize that that has affected India in incidents that we deplore”, he told NDTV.
New Delhi is keen to access U.S. technology for Modi’s “Make in India” plans to build a domestic defence industrial base and cut expensive arms imports. It would make coordination more “seamless”, according to a senior defense official, by allowing the U.S.to easily sell India fuel and provide equipment parts.