US Def Secretary Austin arrives in India; focus on strengthening ties

In the first go to by a best Biden administration official, US Defence Secretary Lloyd

In the first go to by a best Biden administration official, US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin arrived in India on Friday on a a few-working day go to, aimed at further boosting bilateral defence and safety ties in the wake of China’s growing armed service assertiveness in the location which include in the Indo-Pacific.

India is the 3rd stop for Austin throughout his a few-nation first overseas tour as the Defence Secretary, and the go to is witnessed as a reflection of the Joe Biden administration’s robust determination to its relations with its shut allies and companions in the location. The US defence secretary visited Japan and South Korea before India.

The US official was been given at the Palam airport by senior Indian armed service officers and diplomats from the American embassy.

Ways to further accelerate India-US strategic ties, boosting cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, China’s intense behaviour in eastern Ladakh, problem of terrorism and the Afghan peace procedure are envisioned to be aim of the talks amongst the two sides, persons common with Austin’s go to mentioned.

They mentioned India’s prepare to procure about thirty multi-mission armed Predator drones from the US for the a few products and services at an estimated expense of above USD 3 billion is also envisioned to determine in the talks.

The medium-altitude extensive-endurance (MALE) Predator-B drones, made by US defence main Normal Atomics, are capable of remaining airborne for about 35 several hours and can hunt down targets at land and sea, they mentioned.

India’s prepare to receive 114 fighter jets at a expense of about USD 18 billion could also determine in the talks as American defence majors –Boeing and Lockheed -Martin– are eyeing it, the persons mentioned.

Secretary Austin is scheduled to meet up with Countrywide Stability Advisor Ajit Doval on Friday night although he will have considerable talks with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday.

He is also possible to meet up with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Before his departure on Sunday, Austin is possible to get in touch with on Primary Minister Narendra Modi.

His go to to India came days soon after the best management of the Quad grouping of India, the US, Japan and Australia vowed to grow their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific location.

Ahead of Austin’s go to, Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a letter to the US Defence Secretary, urging him to acquire up with Indian leaders the problem of New Delhi procuring Russian S-400 missile defence technique.

While democracy and human legal rights problems do not arrive underneath the area of the Pentagon, Menendez also urged Austin to raise these concerns with Indian leaders.

In Oct 2018, India signed a USD five billion deal with Russia to obtain five units of the S-400 air defence missile programs, notwithstanding a warning from the Trump administration that likely forward with the deal may well invite US sanctions.

Not long ago, the US imposed sanctions on Turkey underneath the Countering America’s Adversaries By Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for acquire of S-400 missiles from Russia.

The evolving condition in the Indo-Pacific location in the wake of China’s rising armed service muscle flexing has come to be a main chatting stage among the leading global powers. The US has been favouring building Quad a safety architecture to verify China’s growing assertiveness.

The go to is also having place at a time when India and China are hunting to reach the aim of disengagement from all friction points in eastern Ladakh soon after finishing withdrawal of troops in the North and South banking institutions of Pangong lake areas.

Austin and Singh experienced a telephonic conversation on January 27.

The Indo-US defence ties have been on an upswing in the last few yrs.

In June 2016, the US experienced selected India a “Important Defence Partner”.

The two nations have also inked vital defence and safety pacts above the earlier few yrs, which include the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 that permits their militaries use each and every other’s bases for restore and replenishment of provides as effectively as presents for further cooperation.

The two sides have also signed COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Stability Agreement) in 2018 that presents for interoperability amongst the two militaries and presents for sale of substantial close technologies from the US to India.

In Oct last calendar year, India and the US sealed the BECA (Primary Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) agreement to further boost bilateral defence ties.

The pact presents for sharing of substantial-close armed service technologies, logistics and geospatial maps amongst the two nations.

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