US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to Meet Rajnath Singh Today

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is all set to hold a meeting with United State  Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin today, June 5, focusing on strengthening the existing defence partnership between India and the US

The objective of this meeting is to strengthen communication and cooperation between the two countries in the area of defence.

In addition to other topics, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Austin are expected to talk about General Electric's proposal to share technology with India for fighter jet engines and New Delhi's plan to purchase 30 MQ-9B armed drones from US defence giant General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.  

To deepen bilateral defence connections and collaboration between the United States and India, according to the Pentagon, which provided additional information on the Defence Secretary's visit. After Singapore, Secretary Austin will travel to New Delhi to meet with Rajnath Singh, the Indian defence minister, and other top officials as the US and India continue to modernise their major defence partnership.

India has stated a desire to manufacture jet engines domestically through technology transfer in order to improve the capabilities of its fighter aircraft. The designation of India as a "Major Defence Partner" by the United States in June 2016 opened doors for the two nations to exchange critical military hardware and technology.

This visit offers a chance to further ongoing efforts to increase operational cooperation between the Indian and American forces as well as new defence innovation and industrial partnership initiatives.

Over the past few years, the two nations have inked significant defence and security agreements, such as the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, which permits both militaries to use each other's bases for supply replenishment and repair.

Also, the two parties ratified the COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in 2018, which enables military cooperation between the two nations as well as the transfer of advanced technology from the US to India. On Twitter, the US Secretary of Defence stated, "I'm returning to India to meet with key leaders for discussions about strengthening our Major Defence Partnership." 

The US Secretary of Defence is in India for a second time. Austin had previously visited India in March 2021, according to a press release from the Ministry of Defence.

The main focus of Lloyd Austin's visit to New Delhi will be the expansion of US-Indian industrial collaboration and new defence innovation initiatives. The visit also intends to advance current initiatives to improve operational collaboration between the militaries of the two nations.

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