Thank you for that kind introduction. Thank you as well to the Kallman team, your sponsors, and the industry associations for the great job in organizing this USA Partnership Pavilion. I know that a tremendous amount of effort goes into arranging events of this magnitude, and your hard work certainly shows. We in the U.S. Government are pleased to partner with you to advance U.S.-India defense cooperation. The presence today of such a diverse group of military officers, government officials, and industry executives demonstrates the depth and breadth of our commitment to the U.S.-India relationship.
At Aero India, the United States is proud to showcase some of the world’s most advanced aerospace, defense, and communications technologies. This is demonstrated by the U.S. aircraft that have flown here for the show, including:
- the F-16 Fighting Falcon,
- the F/A-18 Super Hornet,
- the C-17 Globemaster, and
- the P-8I Poseidon.
These aircraft offer India sophisticated solutions to some of its most pressing security challenges.
Major Defense Partnership
The U.S. designation in 2016 of India as a Major Defense Partner marked a new milestone in U.S.-India defense cooperation. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi continue to promote our strategic relationship with a vision for peace, security, and prosperity across the Indo-Pacific region.
Together with our Indian partners, we are building greater cooperation through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, military exercises, official visits and exchanges, and the integration of advanced U.S. defense systems and platforms into the Indian armed forces.
2018 was a watershed year in this regard, as the United States and India took important steps to further our strategic goals. The 2+2 Ministerial Meeting between our senior foreign affairs and defense officials last September saw several key advances in our level of cooperation:
- We completed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), an important step that will facilitate Indian access to advanced defense systems and improve utilization of its existing U.S.-origin platforms.
- The United States granted Strategic Trade Authorization, Tier 1 (STA-1) license exception, which places India in the top tier of countries that are eligible to receive license-free dual-use exports.
- At the 2+2 Ministerial, we announced our readiness to begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defense industry cooperation and collaboration.
- We also reaffirmed our commitment to continue to encourage and prioritize co-production and co-development projects through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
U.S. Defense Industry
The U.S. defense industry has demonstrated its commitment to partnering with India to provide high-quality, technologically advanced defense equipment and systems – systems that are widely considered the most operationally reliable in the world. U.S. companies are already cooperating closely with the Indian armed services to deploy these systems to enhance India’s military capabilities.
There is a growing number of joint ventures and partnerships between U.S. and Indian defense companies that are committed to building a strong network of defense suppliers in India. U.S. industry is actively exploring ways to work with Indian partners to bring advanced technologies and manufacturing capabilities to India, and to engage with our Indian partners on co-development and co-production.
This USA Partnership Pavilion is another demonstration of the commitment of our U.S. companies to India.
It is truly a great pleasure to celebrate the opening of the USA Partnership Pavilion with all of you. Best wishes for a successful exhibition and for your endeavors in India.