India, US agree to launch defence supply chain cooperation

NEW YORK: India and the United States have agreed to begin defence supply chain collaboration to promptly meet each other's priority demands, said, the Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin,

"Today we agreed to establish new supply chain cooperation measures that will allow us to more quickly serve each other's priority defence requirements," he said at a news conference after the 2+2 meeting on Monday, announcing multiple defence projects between India and the US. "India continues to buy major US defence platforms, resulting in the formation of important and new links between our defence industrial bases," he said.

Our defence trade and technological collaboration is expanding. "Through our Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, we just completed an agreement to collaborate on air-launched unmanned aerial vehicles," Austin stated.  "We're doing all of this because the United States supports India as a regional defence sector leader and a net security supplier," he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he has discussed co-development and co-production with US businesses in order to make India a leader in aerospace industry. On Sunday, he met with Boeing and Raytheon personnel.

Austin and Singh met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in Washington for the 2+2 meeting. "As strategic threats converge, especially in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine," Austin said, "it is more critical than ever that we stand together to protect our common values and to preserve the international rules-based order." He also mentioned China as a threat, saying that it is "trying to refashion the region and the international system more broadly in ways that favour its interests."

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