NEW DELHI: In a significant development amid tensions between India and China, a top American military official on Tuesday said the US and India were working on an information-sharing agreement between air forces.
American Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall also stated that India and the US were close to signing an agreement on sharing of jet engine technology which may help New Delhi to produce fighter aircraft engines indigenously.
“India is a major and valuable defence partner. We share values and expanding our relationship,” he said.
The senior official said both sides are working on an air information-sharing agreement.
The pact is expected to facilitate sharing of information between the Indian and the US forces apart from cooperation in specific areas.
He added that they want to develop peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region for the common interest
On being asked about US concern over ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, he responded that the requirement of having a larger share of products manufactured in India should be implemented in stages rather than the expectation of having it all in one go.
Responding to questions on the US and India signing the air information sharing agreement, he said, “India and the US are working on an air information sharing agreement and it could be finalised very soon.”
Kendall said the US-India defence partnership has been moving forward and there are scope for greater cooperation in diverse areas including in the space sector.
“We have very strong shared values as democracies, shared security concerns across a spectrum of security interests. We expanding our relationship. India is a very valuable partner for us,” he said at a media briefing.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with US Secretary of Air Force Frank Kendall on Tuesday and discussed the global strategic scenario and new opportunities for India-US defense cooperation.
Following their meeting, Jaishankar tweeted, “Great to catch up with an old friend, US Secretary of Air Force Frank Kendall. Discussed the global strategic scenario and new opportunities for India-US defence cooperation.”
Notably, the meeting between the External Affairs Minister and the US Secretary of Air Force is crucial as on Wednesday as recently, an Indian-American man was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for the first time.
The United States Senate on Wednesday (Local Time) confirmed Indian origin Ravi Chaudhary as the Assistant Secretary of Air Force for Energy, Installations and the Environment. (ANI)