India not only wants to co-develop and co-produce arms with the US, but also wants to jointly export them, a top Pentagon official has said adding that the United States supports such Indian aspirations.
“The Indians don’t want to just buy weapons systems from us, they want to co-develop and co-produce systems of mutual value...that we can jointly export,” US Deputy Defence Secretary Ashton B Carter has said following his recent meeting with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, in Germany on the sidelines of the 49th Munich Security Conference.
“The two had a positive discussion concerning issues of mutual interest,” a Pentagon spokeswoman told PTI after the Carter-Menon meeting.
“We support that aspiration in India. That’s the way we want to do things, too,” Carter told American Forces Press Service aboard his aircraft during his return flight following his six-day international trip that took him to Paris, Munich, Turkey and Jordan.
Carter had last visited India in July last year, soon after the visit of US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta.
It is during this trip that Panetta had announced that Carter had been entrusted with the task of working with Indian officials to reduce bureaucratic hurdles to increase defence trade between India and the United States.
In his meeting with Menon, Carter discussed progress that has been made on these efforts.
During his India trip, Carter had also visited the facilities in Hyderabad where India’s Tata Advanced Systems Limited and US-based Lockheed Martin produce parts for the C-130J, the “Super Hercules” four-engine military transport aircraft that Lockheed produces.
“The Indians are buying the C-130J, but they’re also building the C-130J...and that’s a perfect example of the kind of project we want to do with India,” Carter said.