Remarks by Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster at the DEFEXPO 2020 Ambassador’s Press Availability


Good afternoon.  I am pleased to be leading the U.S. delegation at this 11th edition of the Government of India’s Defense Exhibition.  I would like to thank the Government and the Ministry of Defence for inviting us to participate in this event.  This is a great opportunity to see the talent and innovation of India’s defense industry.  We look forward to pursuing opportunities to expand our cooperation as the Indian government establishes defense industrial corridors here in Uttar Pradesh as well as in Tamil Nadu.

Defense Technology

The theme of DEFEXPO this year is the “Digital Transformation of Defense.”  Defense exhibitions such as these demonstrate that industry in the United States and India, along with our respective governments, share a common understanding regarding the nature of the modern battlefield.  We share the belief that, in order for India to ensure its defense and work with     like-minded nations in pursuit of common security objectives, it is critical that India move toward systems – not just weapons – that are effective, agile, and resilient.  In addition, we believe that India must ultimately move toward systems that are interoperable with the equipment and networks of its security partners.

The U.S. firms at this exhibition produce battle-proven, high-technology equipment and networks.  For example, these companies have supplied modern land and sea-based fighter aircraft; ballistic missile defense systems; the most advanced, networked avionics equipment; and secure communications equipment for the United States and our partners.  They are poised to offer the same to India.   

Industry-Industry Cooperation

While defense technology and an opportunity to view the latest high-tech gadgetry is what attracts visitors to DEFEXPO, perhaps the greatest value is the occasion it provides for our companies to foster closer industry-to-industry ties in what is a key pillar of the U.S.-India relationship.  I have found in my travels in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere in India that the potential for industry partnership between our two countries on state-of-the-art defense equipment is enormous.

Right now, U.S. firms participating in this event are partnering with companies across India, including in Uttar Pradesh’s Defence Corridor, to produce defense equipment not just for our countries’ militaries, but for those of partner nations.  For example, Tata has partnered with Lockheed Martin to build all C-130 tails and F-16 wings here.  And Boeing is collaborating with HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) to produce all AH-64 Apache fuselages in Hyderabad.

Along the pathway to a deeper industry-to-industry relationship, there are, of course, barriers that we must overcome.  It is our goal to identify obstacles to enhancing              industry-to-industry cooperation and formulate solutions in concert with the Government of India as well as U.S. and Indian industry, so that we can build a closer defense relationship.

In sum, U.S. defense cooperation with India continues to grow stronger – and defense trade among our companies is creating skilled jobs right here in India.  In the years to come, we look forward to working with India to further advance our defense ties.

Thank you, and now we will take some questions.