New legislation in US to make India a key defence tech partner

India-US Defence Coop Act

The US Senate introduced the US-India Defense Technology and Partnership Act on May 10.

The bill was introduced by Senator Mark Warner (D- VA) and John Coryn (R-TX), Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus.

The legislation emphasises the US government’s focus on its security partnership with India. The bill also sends a strong message to New Delhi that the Washington is a reliable and dependable defense partner. It also encourages the US to designate an official to focus on US-India defense cooperation, facilitate the transfer of defense technology, and maintain a special office in the Pentagon dedicated exclusively to the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). This will enhance India’s military capabilities in the context of combined military planning and promote opportunities for co-production and co-development. The US has also agreed to share technology with India for the construction of an aircraft carrier.

The bill encourages the Indian government to authorise combined military planning with the US for missions of mutual interest such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter piracy, and maritime domain awareness. It also puts India on par with America’s closest defense partners, such as NATO and Israel, for the purpose of congressional defense sales notifications.

“I applaud Senator Warner and Coryn’s leadership in introducing this bill in the Senate. The commercial and security imperatives for a robust defense partnership between the US and India could not be clearer. Defense trade has risen from some USD 300 million to over USD 14 billion over the last 10 years and there is every reason to expect it to rise further. The USIBC strongly supports this bill and encourages widespread support in the Senate”, USIBC President Mukesh Aghi said.

“As an important partner with a flourishing economy, India has huge potential as a market for American defense manufacturers, which support millions of American jobs. This bill supports strengthening our bilateral relationship, particularly in defense, and bestows upon India the status it deserves as a partner in promoting security in Asia and around the world”, Senator Warner said.

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