In a report to the Congress, the U.S. Government said it is creating new positions in its Department of Defense to strengthen its military ties with India. Two new under secretary level posts will be set up by February 2018 to steer the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative that seeks to overcome bureaucratic obstacles to cooperation, and identify opportunities for sharing of defense technologies.
The Hindustan Times says that aspects of the defense ties between the two nations will include military exercises, cyber security, technology security and India being designated a major defense partner of the United States.
The report on enhancing defense and security cooperation with India is a follow up to the National Defense Authorization Act passed in December 2016.
The Trump administration is supporting U.S. military contractors exploring the possibility of setting up production lines for single and twin-engine fighter jets in India. “These proposals (for F-16 Block 70 fighters and F/A-18 jets) will help create and maintain jobs in both countries and demonstrate the depth of our commitment to defense cooperation,” the report said.
The U.S. government’s decision to supply Guardian unmanned aerial vehicles, manufactured by General Atomics, to India’s Navy is one of the major developments that has taken place after the National Defense Authorization Act was passed. The deal for 22 UAVs is expected to be $2 billion.