India and the US have joined hands to co-produce armoured infantry vehicles as a key component of their defence industrial cooperation, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Friday.
He said the two sides have set an ambitious agenda to deepen their strategic partnership ‘in the face of China’s growing military aggression.’
“India and the US are creating new liaison positions to enhance communication and collaboration between their armed forces. The two countries are also finalising a Security of Supply Arrangement (SOSA) that will integrate their defence industrial ecosystems and boost supply chain resilience, the statement said.
“Today, we agreed to move forward with the co-production of armoured infantry vehicles. We also discussed steps that we can take to strengthen our supply chain security and integrate the provision of goods and services from US and Indian firms,” Austin said.
He called the armoured vehicle project “extremely important”.
Austin was accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, while the Indian side was led by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The joint statement said the ministers reaffirmed the ‘Roadmap for Defence Industrial Cooperation’ as a catalyst for strengthening India’s capabilities and facilitating technology-sharing.
Looking ahead, the ministers welcomed the progress achieved towards co-production and co-development of defence systems, noting their mutual interest to co-develop and co-produce ground mobility systems, as they bring the two countries’ respective defence sectors closer together while enhancing Indian capabilities,” the statement said.