US-India Defence Partnership Progresses with Information-Sharing Agreement and Jet Engine Technology Deal
US and India Work on Air Force Information-Sharing Agreement Amid Tensions with China
On Tuesday, American Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall announced that the US and India were collaborating on an information-sharing agreement between their air forces. The partnership comes at a time of heightened tensions between India and China, and Kendall highlighted the importance of expanding the relationship between the two countries. He added that the US and India were also close to finalizing a deal on the sharing of jet engine technology, which could help India to produce fighter aircraft engines domestically.
Kendall emphasized that India was a valuable defence partner and that both countries shared similar values. He also confirmed that the air information-sharing agreement was expected to facilitate cooperation in specific areas and improve communication between the Indian and US forces. Kendall stated that the objective was to foster peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region for the mutual benefit of both countries.
Responding to concerns over India’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, Kendall suggested that the requirement for a larger share of domestically manufactured products should be implemented gradually rather than all at once. He also noted that the US-India defence partnership had been progressing well and highlighted the potential for increased collaboration in various areas, including the space sector.
The announcement comes after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with Kendall to discuss global strategic scenarios and new opportunities for India-US defence cooperation. The meeting was crucial, particularly as an Indian-American man was recently appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy, Installations, and the Environment. The United States Senate confirmed Ravi Chaudhary’s appointment on Wednesday, making him the first Indian-origin person to hold the position.
General Electric’s Proposal to Share Technology with India for Fighter Jet Engines is a ‘Breakthrough’
The United States Air Force Secretary, Frank Kendall, praised General Electric’s proposal to share fighter jet engine technology with India, saying that it is a step in the right direction towards strengthening India-US defence ties. During his visit to India, Kendall discussed various subjects related to India-US defence cooperation with officials from the National Security Council Secretariat, the defence ministry, and the external affairs ministry. Kendall stated that India and the US are currently working on an air information-sharing agreement, which he hopes will be finalized soon.
Kendall expressed his enthusiasm for the growing defence partnership between the US and India, saying that both countries share strong democratic values and security concerns. He also acknowledged the potential for greater cooperation in diverse areas, including the space sector.
Regarding General Electric’s proposal, Kendall highlighted its potential significance as a “breakthrough,” and expressed his hope that both countries can work together to move the proposal forward, despite the need to work through some processes. He noted that India has been seeking to manufacture jet engines domestically under the framework of technology transfer to power its fighter aircraft.
Kendall also addressed India’s plan to procure a fleet of fighter jets but did not give a direct answer when asked if the US is keen to supply them. He emphasized that India should decide what type of capabilities it needs in its fighter force, and if American capabilities meet those requirements, the US is prepared to discuss them.
The US-India defence ties have been growing stronger in recent years, with the US designating India a “Major Defense Partner” in 2016, and the two countries signed several defence and security pacts, including the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). In October 2020, India and the US signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), providing for the sharing of high-end military technology, logistics, and geospatial maps between the two countries.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team