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U.S.-India Defence Ties: Boosting Cooperation


Significant strides in the U.S.-India defence partnership have been made possible by Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin’s recent trip to India. The visit’s main goals were to advance technological innovation and boost military cooperation.


GS Paper 2: Bilateral relations

Mains Question

Consider the consequences for India’s self-reliance objectives of the roadmap for defence industrial cooperation between the United States and India. (150 words)

1. Roadmap for Defence Industrial Cooperation: A road map for defence industrial cooperation was agreed upon, and it is in line with the iCET effort between the United States and India. The road map intends to increase technology collaboration, support India’s aspirations of self-sufficiency, and lessen reliance on imports to improve defence manufacture in India.

2. Accelerating Co-development and Co-production: The road map’s creation represents a significant step towards improving the two countries’ defence cooperation. It aims to hasten important co-development and co-production projects, fostering closer ties between the Indian and American defence industries.

3. Indus-X: Fueling interaction in Defence Innovation: The Indus-X initiative’s launch has increased interaction in defence innovation between the two nations. This project creates new options for engagement in defensive space exchanges and builds upon the bilateral Space Situational Awareness agreement that was signed in 2022 with the goal of enhancing information-sharing and cooperation in the space domain.

4. Strengthening the Indo-Pacific Imperative: The American security Secretary has emphasised the vital importance of the U.S.-India security alliance in the Indo-Pacific area.Given its coercive tactics and expanding naval capabilities, shared threat assessments identify China as a common threat. In order to address these issues and preserve regional stability, the collaboration becomes increased significance.

The U.S. government’s support for India’s defence modernization aims to foster joint ventures, enhance U.S. participation in Indian defence manufacturing, and address current challenges in co-development and co-production.

5. Broader Industrial Cooperation: The current scale of American investments in India provides a solid foundation for expanding industrial cooperation between Indian and U.S. companies in the defence sector.

Overcoming Obstacles:

  • Recent developments show promise, despite the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) receiving criticism for bureaucratic roadblocks and complicated technology transfer.
  • The iCET agreement revitalises the DTTI and gives co-production and co-development in the defence sector a specific boost as the strategic cooperation between India and the US is elevated.


Finally, Secretary Austin’s trip to India set the stage for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming state visit to the United States, where significant announcements about defence cooperation are anticipated. The growing defence alliance between the United States and India, which is supported by common democratic ideals, has a tremendous potential to advance both countries’ economic development and regional stability

December 2023