Tuesday, November 28, 2023

India-US to forge closer ties, expand cooperation in aviation security, joint capacity building

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Forging closer ties between two leading Indo-Pacific powers, the US and India on Friday committed to advance security in the Indo-Pacific by expanding cooperation on terrorist screening, information sharing, aviation security, terrorist use of the internet, terrorist designations, and joint capacity building.

“The United States and India look forward to the upcoming Counterterrorism Joint Working Group and Homeland Security Dialogue to expand cooperation on terrorist screening, information sharing, aviation security, terrorist use of the internet, terrorist designations, and joint capacity building, read Fact Sheet: The United States and India – Global Leadership in Action released by the White House on Friday (local time). Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden in their maiden bilateral meeting committed to values of freedom, pluralism, openness, and respect for human rights.

The two leaders also focussed on strengthening joint efforts to combat illicit narcotics production.

“The United States looks forward to continuing the U.S.-India Counter Narcotics Working Group to strengthen joint efforts to combat illicit narcotics production and precursor chemical supply chains and to develop a new Bilateral Framework facilitating stronger law enforcement cooperation, drug demand reduction, and continued drug control communication,” added the Fact Sheet.
Having concluded four major defence enabling agreements since 2016, the United States and India have made significant progress as Major Defence Partners.

The bilateral meet further looks forward to increasing information sharing, bilateral and multilateral exercises, maritime security cooperation, liaison officer exchanges, and logistical cooperation.
In furtherance of the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), the US and India agreed in July to a USD 22 million project to co-develop air-launched unmanned aerial vehicles.
DTTI currently encompasses four working groups, and the next senior officials’ meeting later this year will further expand defense industrial collaboration.

The United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Indian military, having offered state-of-the-art capabilities, such as the F/A-18, F-15EX, and F-21 fighter aircraft; MQ-9B unmanned aerial systems; the IADWS missile system; and additional P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, read the Fact Sheet.

India’s premier strategic airlift capabilities enable its military to provide critical humanitarian relief and evacuation operations to the Indian Ocean region and beyond.

The US Air Force and U.S. firm Lockheed Martin (LM) recently concluded a USD 329 million contract to provide maintenance for India’s C-130J transport aircraft fleet. This deal will help support jobs in both countries while enhancing India’s strategic airlift capabilities, added the Fact Sheet.

The Indian Air Force operates the second-largest C-17 fleet in the world behind the US, recently signing a USD 637 million extended maintenance contract with US firm Boeing that supports jobs in both countries.

In June, LM delivered India’s first two MH-60R multi-mission maritime helicopters. These platforms were assembled in Troy, Alabama, as well as Stratford, Connecticut, and integrated in Owego, New York, and allow India access to the multi-role helicopter global supply chain.

As the second-largest operator of P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in the world, India is a valued maritime partner in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. US firm Boeing delivered the tenth P-8I aircraft to the Indian Navy in July 2021, and the 11th aircraft is expected to be delivered in October, read the Fact Sheet.

In 2020, India and the US renewed their commitment to supporting effective nuclear security globally, through India’s Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership and multilateral partners such as the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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