U.S. and India Agree Maritime Security Initiatives
On Tuesday in New Delhi, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reaffirmed the strategic importance of the U.S.-India defense relationship.
Carter shared with the prime minister his views on the unprecedented military-to-military ties between the two countries. He highlighted recent advances in the U.S.-India defense relationship including Tuesday’s agreement in principle on logistics cooperation and a new maritime security dialogue. The leaders agreed that continued collaboration on defense technology including aircraft carrier design and jet engines will open new opportunities for co-development and co-production.
The secretary reinforced his view that India, like the United States, seeks to be a net exporter of security, and the two countries will continue to work with other partners to shape a regional security architecture that will allow all to rise and prosper.
Carter is on an official visit to India at the invitation of Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parrikar from April 10-13. He and Parrikar visited the Indian Naval Base in Karwar and the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. They also visited the USS Blue Ridge which was conducting a port call in Goa during the secretary’s visit.
During their meeting, Parrikar and Carter discussed the priorities for the coming year in defense ties. These included expanding collaboration under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, the Indian government’s Make in India efforts, new opportunities to deepen cooperation in maritime security and maritime domain awareness and regional and international security matters.
The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of maritime security. In this context, they reaffirmed their desire to expeditiously conclude a “white shipping” technical arrangement to improve data sharing on commercial shipping traffic. They agreed to commence navy-to-navy discussions on submarine safety and anti-submarine warfare. They also agreed to launch a bilateral Maritime Security Dialogue, co-chaired by officials at the joint secretary/assistant secretary-level of the Indian Ministries of Defence and External Affairs and the U.S. Departments of Defense and State.
The leaders reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, including in the South China Sea. They vowed their support for a rules-based order and regional security architecture conducive to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean and emphasized their commitment to working together and with other nations to ensure the security and stability that have been beneficial to the Asia-Pacific for decades.
Carter and Parrikar welcomed the finalization of four government-to-government project agreements in the area of science and technology cooperation: atmospheric sciences for high energy lasers, cognitive tools for target detection, small intelligent unmanned aerial systems and blast and blunt traumatic brain injury.
Before departing India, Secretary Carter will oversee a repatriation ceremony of U.S. World War II remains from India to the United States. The Indian government agreed to support America’s commitment to bringing its fallen personnel home and providing their families the fullest possible accounting and looks forward to further humanitarian missions over the next few years to return the remains of U.S. heroes to their families.