Defence minister Rajnath Singh, during a bilateral meeting held on Tuesday with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin in Cambodia, pitched for building a roadmap towards greater defence industrial collaboration between the two countries.

Defence minister Singh suggested India’s growing expertise in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and ship-building, repairs and refits and suggested specific areas where US defence companies can look for technology cooperation and manufacturing opportunities with Indian partners in India, the ministry said in an official statement. Secretary Austin welcomed the suggestions and assured Singh of cooperation in this regard. “Great meeting with my friend Rajnath Singh at the ADMM-Plus today. We’re continuing to make strides in enhancing our defence cooperation as we advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Austin later tweeted.


The US has already got one of its warship repaired at a facility here in the country and India wants to offer similar expertise for air platforms as well. The two Defence Ministers discussed wide range of issues of mutual interest while expressing their commitment to a strong India-US defence cooperation, said the ministry. Singh emphasised the need for both countries to work together for capability building in critical domains such as military aviation, artificial intelligence and cyber technology.

Ahead of 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus meeting, the two leaders expressed their commitment towards an inclusive and rules-based Indo Pacific with freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded trade, to counter growing Chinese presence. They further discussed initiatives that can be taken to strengthen maritime cooperation between the two countries including in maritime domain awareness, said the MoD.

India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting,

The maiden India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, meanwhile, was held on Monday at Siem Reap to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of India-ASEAN relations which has also been designated as ‘ASEAN-India Friendship Year’. Proposing two major initiatives for further expanding the scope and the depth of the India-ASEAN defence relations, Singh offered the ‘India-ASEAN Initiative for Women in UN Peace Keeping Operations’ which includes conduct of tailor-made courses for women peacekeepers of ASEAN member states at the Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping in India. And other another one was to conduct a ‘Table Top Exercise’ in India for women officers from ASEAN incorporating facets of UN peacekeeping challenges.

The 9th ASEAN-Defence Ministers Meeting’ (ADMM) Plus scheduled to take place on Wednesday.