Obama visit: India, US to firm up joint defence projects

Ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in January next year, India and the US will be looking to bolster their defence ties and to firm up joint projects for co-production and co-development of weapons systems. US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Puneet Talwar will be holding wide-ranging interactions with senior officials of India’s defence ministry and foreign office in New Delhi December 1-2. The US delegation comprises senior officials from the State Department, Pentagon and the US Pacific Command.
Mr Talwar is the second Indian-American serving as assistant secretary in the state department after Nisha Desai Biswal, who is US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.
The focus will be on identifying a wide array of projects for co-production and co-development in the defence sector, which fits in with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India’s initiative and his strategic intention to create indigenous defence-military base. Currently, India is among the world’s largest arms importer, with military hardware imports accounting for over 90 per cent of its needs.
The India-US political-military dialogue will seek to firm up deliverables in the defence sector during President Obama’s visit to New Delhi as the guest of honour at the Republic Day parade next year – the first time India has bestowed such an honour on a US president.

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