Today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited India for the third time since becoming Secretary of Defense, for his seventh meeting with Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar. In his many years at the Department of Defense, Ash Carter has spearheaded efforts to deepen and broaden U.S.-India Defense cooperation. As a result, the United States and India today have improved mutual understanding of our respective defense institutions, we are exchanging perspectives and coordinating policy approaches in new areas, reinvigorating our military-to-military engagements, launching path-breaking cooperative technology projects and pushing bilateral defense trade to unprecedented levels. Today, the United States and India are closer than ever to realizing their Joint Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region.
In recent years, the United States and India have engaged in what the Secretary has dubbed a “strategic handshake” between our two countries as the United States policy of rebalance to the Asia Pacific converges with Indian Prime Minister Modi’s “Act East” policy. This has been complemented by a “technological handshake” through which we have sought to leverage our respective industrial and technological capabilities to meet mutual security needs.
Strategic Handshake Accomplishments
- The United States finalized India’s designation as a “Major Defense Partner” today
- The United States and India launched a new bilateral Maritime Security Dialogue in April 2016
- President Obama and Prime Minister Modi issued the Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region in January 2015
- Secretary Carter and Minister Parrikar signed the Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship in June 2015
- Secretary Carter was the first U.S. Defense Secretary to visit Indian Eastern Naval Command in Vizakhapatnam in December 2015
- Annual naval exercise MALABAR expanded to include Japan as permanent member
- India twice participated with a ship in the biennial Rim-of-the-Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise – in 2014 and 2016 – hosted by U.S. Pacific Command after observing the exercise since 2006.
- Indian Air Force resumed participation in Exercise RED FLAG in Spring 2016
- S. and India concluded Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement in August 2016
- India and United States for the first time conducted a joint peacekeeping course in New Delhi in August 2016, with plans to conduct follow-on iterations of the joint course in 2017.
- In 2012, United States and India launched the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). Under DTTI, the United States and India have launched seven joint working groups to explore collaborative projects and programs and signed two Science and Technology government-to-government project agreements – the Next Generation Protective Ensembles and Mobile Hybrid Power Sources – worth roughly $2 million.
- Since 2008, U.S.-India defense trade has increased from roughly $1 billion to over $15 billion, including Indian procurement of 13 Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules aircraft, 10 C-17 Globemaster and 12 P-8 Poseidon aircraft from Boeing, as well as 22 AH-64 Apache and 15 CH-47 Chinook helicopters. In December 2016, the United States and India signed a deal worth approximately $732 million to provide the Indian Army with 145 M777 Howitzer guns.
- In 2012, Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Lockheed Martin established a joint venture to produce C-130J Super Hercules airframe components. The 50th empennage was delivered in September 2016. TASL also has a joint venture with Sikorsky, established in 2011, to co-produce S-92 helicopter cabins. In June 2016, TASL and Boeing announced a Hyderabad-based joint venture to manufacture components for Apache helicopters and collaborate on integrated systems development opportunities in India.