- The U.S. named India a "major defence partner," and since then, the two countries have signed agreements that make it easier to transfer high-quality weapons and strengthen their military cooperation.
A senior Pentagon official said Thursday that the US and India will work together to make drones. This is because the US wants closer ties with India to compete with China.
This official said that India will make these planes and sell them to other countries in its region.
Delhi wants to get more weapons that aren’t made in Russia and also build up its own defence industry.
Eli Ratner, assistant secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told a group of reporters and defence experts, “We want to support India on both fronts, and we are.”
Ratner said, “In practise, this means that we will work closely with India to co-produce and co-develop capabilities that will help India meet its own goals for modernising its defence.”
Then, India can “export to our partners in the region, including South and Southeast Asia, at prices that are affordable.”
Ratner mentioned the possibility of making drones that can be launched from planes and defences against drones.
He also said that the Pentagon is looking at “opportunities to co-produce major capabilities” in the near and medium term, but he didn’t say which ones.
Ratner said, “We’re having good talks with our counterparts in the Indian government at the highest levels about our respective priorities in this area, and we hope to have more to say about this soon.”
For a long time, relations between the United States and India were tense. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former President Donald Trump were both afraid of an aggressive China, which brought the two countries closer together.
In 2016, the U.S. named India a “major defence partner,” and since then, the two countries have signed agreements that make it easier to transfer high-quality weapons and strengthen their military cooperation.