New Delhi: India and the US have decided to establish an ambitious roadmap for defence industrial cooperation, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday after wide-ranging talks with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh.
At a media briefing, Austin also described the India-US global strategic partnership as the “cornerstone” of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The US defence secretary said he held productive talks with Defence Minister Singh and NSA Ajit Doval.
Our partnership is continuing to grow rapidly and we are looking at expanding the defence industrial cooperation, Austin said.
The US Defence Secretary arrived in New Delhi on Sunday on a two-day tour that comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington.
It is Secretary Austin’s second visit to India. His previous trip to India was in March, 2021.
In his address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday, the US Defence secretary said, “Our Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology with India lets us explore new ways to co-develop key defence platforms.”
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In a major move, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Modi announced in May last year the US-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) to elevate and expand the strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation between the two countries.
The iCET is expected to forge closer linkages between the government, academia and industry of the two countries in areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, 5G and 6G, biotech, space and semiconductors.
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