US and India in Talks for Defense Collaboration on ISR and Conventional Warfare
Senior Pentagon official reveals ongoing discussions between the US and India to produce military systems in ISR and conventional warfare.
WASHINGTON: In an effort to bolster defense cooperation between the United States and India, a senior Pentagon official has disclosed ongoing discussions between the two nations. Siddharth Iyer, the Director for South Asia Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, made these revelations during an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington.
The talks primarily focus on the production of military systems, particularly in the domains of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and ground-based conventional warfare. According to Iyer, the details of these discussions will be made public as they progress further.
Additionally, both countries are actively pursuing the establishment of a reciprocal defense procurement agreement. This agreement aims to streamline defense firms' procurement processes and enhance cooperation between the US and Indian defense industries.
Iyer, an Indian-American, emphasized that significant progress has been made in finalizing a security of supply arrangement. This arrangement will simplify the ability of defense firms to meet their procurement needs and contribute to strengthening bilateral defense ties.
Highlighting the importance of the US-India relationship, Iyer stated that it is one of the top priorities for the Pentagon. He stressed that a strong partnership with India is not just necessary but essential for achieving strategic goals in the Indo-Pacific region. There is a profound commitment to nurturing this partnership.
Iyer also noted that Secretary of Defense Loyd Austin is dedicated to accelerating India's military modernization. To achieve this, the Department of Defense is actively seeking targeted opportunities to advance India's indigenous defense production capabilities.
The India-US defense road map, according to Iyer, plays a pivotal role in this collaboration. It identifies key areas of military priority where both nations' defense industries should focus their collaborative efforts. The road map also outlines concrete mechanisms to integrate supply chains, ensuring a seamless flow of resources and expertise.
Furthermore, the road map establishes an oversight mechanism to prevent bureaucratic hurdles and regulatory barriers from hindering the progress of defense cooperation. This ensures that both countries can effectively work together to enhance their military capabilities.
The ongoing talks between the United States and India signal a deepening of defense cooperation. The focus on ISR and conventional warfare systems, along with the efforts to establish a reciprocal defense procurement agreement, underscores the commitment to strengthening the defense ties between these two nations. This collaboration is viewed as a critical component of the US strategy in the Indo-Pacific region and reflects a mutual commitment to advancing shared defense objectives.