New Delhi: US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter is in New Delhi and said today that progress has been made towards sealing a deal that could see American soldiers on Indian bases under specific circumstances.
- Secretary Carter has met with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and said India and the United States have agreed in principle to share military logistics.
- Washington and New Delhi have largely agreed to the terms of a new agreement that allows the two militaries to use each other’s land, air and naval bases for resupplies, repair and rest.
- However, US troops can be in India only on the invitation of the government of India and the agreement isn’t binding on either nation.
- The new pact – whose text has not yet been finalised – addresses India’s earlier concerns about losing its traditional autonomy and being perceived as having entered a military alliance with the US.
- India, the world’s biggest arms importer, wants access to US technology so it can develop sophisticated weapons at home — a key part of the PM’s “Make in India” campaign to boost domestic manufacturing.
- The negotiations on this trip are focusing on the transfer of technology for new generation aircraft carriers to be built in India, jet engines, and helmet-mounted displays for pilots.
- The US is also hoping to sell its F-16 or F-18 fighter jets to India as part of a major co-production deal involving more than 100 planes which would be manufactured in India in collaboration with an Indian partner company.
- Secretary Carter told NDTV that the recent sale of US F-16s to Pakistan, which India strongly objected to, was based on the assumption that the fighter jets will be used for counter-terrorism operations.”We strongly believe in curbing terrorism originating in the territory of Pakistan and we fully recognize that that has affected India in incidents that we deplore,” he told NDTV.
- The US is keen on working with India to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea but has clarified that at the moment, it is not considering joint patrolling by an Indo-US fleet in the area.
- However, both sides will work closely together in the Indian Ocean, the two sides agreed.
India better play their cards right or else they might find themselves flying F-35s instead of the PAK FA T-50 if they get too cozy with the USA. Flying F-35s against Chinese supplied Pakistan J-31s isn’t a very good idea as I predict that China will eventually supply Pakistan with the J-31 stealth fighters!
Confrontation with China is not in the best interest for India as China are already in Pakistan and also share a common border I guess that is why India opted out of any escalation in the SC Sea.
India must not forget who saved them in the 70s “1971 India Pakistan War: Role of Russia, China, America and Britain – The World Reporter”
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