India-US military and security ties stronger than ever, says Indian envoy

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Taranjit Singh Sandhu (Image Source: Twitter/Taranjit Singh Sandhu)

Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu said: We are closely working together to ensure a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.” 

Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu said that the India-US defense trade which has significantly grown currently stands at $21 billion while highlighting that the bilateral military and security ties are stronger than ever before. Sandhu said that India’s designation as a “Major Defense Partner”, Strategic Trade Authorization-1 Status by the United States, and the signing of the four foundational agreements with Washington will improve military-to-military cooperation between the two nations.

In an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI) when asked about India-US relations, Sandhu said: “Our defense exercises – in bilateral and plurilateral formats, have increased in both frequency, scope, and coverage. The recently concluded Exercise Malabar with the United States, Japan, and Australia has been yet another important initiative. Our defense trade has grown significantly in a short span of time, and today stands at over $21 billion.” 

Sandhu told PTI that India has signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), Industrial Security Annex, and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) to boost defense ties.

Sandhu also said that the United States and India have been working together for co-production and co-development of defense equipment under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, which was started during former President Barack Obama’s administration. He further added that the industries and innovators from both countries are working together to chart out trustworthy supply chains in next-generation defense technology, and to carry out joint research and development, manufacturing, innovation, and experimenting in new domains of cooperation. 

“We are closely working together to ensure a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” said Sandhu. He stated that the countries will continue to work towards strengthening the defense and security partnership.

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