India and the US engaged in in-depth discussions, aiming to put into action their "Major Defence Partnership" and collaborate on developing military equipment, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Washington.
The 17th meeting of the India-US Defence Policy Group (DPG) in Washington primarily emphasized strengthening defence industrial cooperation, exchanging vital technologies, and conducting joint long-term research.
During the 17th meeting of the India-US Defense Planning Group (DPG) held in Washington, the two sides discussed various aspects of their defense cooperation. They focused on operationalizing the "Major Defense Partnership" between the two countries and finding ways to enhance supply chain security.
The Ministry of Defense stated that they reviewed the progress made in defense industrial cooperation and the implementation of the major defense partnership. The meeting was co-chaired by Defense Secretary Giridhar Aramane and US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, and it was described as cordial and productive.
The discussions encompassed several important areas, including military-to-military cooperation, the implementation of foundational defense agreements, joint exercises, and cooperative activities in the Indian Ocean Region.
Considerable attention was given to enhancing defense industrial cooperation, such as technology partnerships, long-term research and development, and supply chain security improvement.
The meeting also explored possibilities for co-development and co-production in India, involving collaborations between Indian and US defense companies. Both sides agreed to promote the utilization of innovation ecosystems and support defense start-ups, involving both private and government stakeholders.
The DPG serves as the principal official-level platform for bilateral defense cooperation between the Indian Defense Ministry and the US Department of Defense. It comprehensively reviews and guides all aspects of defense cooperation with a policy focus.
India-US defense ties have been strengthening in recent years, evidenced by the signing of key defense and security agreements. These include the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, which enables the militaries of both countries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies.
The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) was signed in 2018, facilitating interoperability between the two militaries and allowing the sale of advanced US military technology to India.
In October 2020, the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) was sealed, further enhancing bilateral defense ties by enabling the sharing of high-end military technology, logistics, and geospatial maps between India and the US.