Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane: India and US are key stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Wednesday 21 February 2024

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane: India and US are key stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific

Defence Secretary Aramane and former US ambassador to India, Richard Verma, at INDUS-X


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 22nd Feb 24


A two-day India-US defence cooperation meeting in Delhi -- the India-US Defence Accelerator Ecosystem (INDUS-X) -- terminated on Wednesday with the two countries declaring it an important milestone in defence collaboration.


This is the second INDUS-X meeting. The first was in June 2023 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US.


Addressing the gathering, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane called India and the US key stakeholders in navigating the complex dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region.


 Today, we are witnessing a pivotal moment in the history of the Indo-Pacific region. The Indo-Pacific, with its vast expanse of oceans and strategic waterways, stands as the crossroad of global commerce, geopolitics, and security. In navigating the complex dynamics of this region, India and the US find themselves as key stakeholders, bound by shared values and common interests, said Aramane.


 Referring to the flourishing bilateral partnership in aerospace and defence, Aramane said,India is increasingly turning to the US for cutting-edge equipment and technology. The US, in turn, sees India as a key partner in its Indo-Pacific strategy, leveraging Indias growing defence capabilities.” 


The Indian defence secretary underscored the success stories of India’s defence production, ranging from shipbuilding, including aircraft carriers, to the development of advanced weaponry such as Tejas multi-role fighter aircraft, and attack and utility combat helicopters that has got the attention of international buyers across the globe. 


Aramane called upon the India-US industry representatives and other stakeholders present to further deepen the strategic bilateral partnership and harness the full potential of the cooperation. By leveraging our respective strengths and capabilities, India and the US can play a pivotal role in shaping the geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific, promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region,” he said. 


Aramane participated in the Capstone session of the INDUS-X Summit along with the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) Commander Admiral John C Aquilino and Ambassador Atul Keshap, President, USIBC (US-India Business Council).


Highlighting the robust defence partnership between the two countries, Aramane spoke about the Initiatives on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), launched jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden in 2022.  


A pivotal aspect of our burgeoning relationship is the iCET that aims to establish Innovation Bridges across key sectors, including defence, through expos, hackathons, and pitching sessions,” said the defence secretary.


Organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) under India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), and the US Department of Defence (DoD), in conjunction with the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), the summit aims to drive strategic technology partnerships and defence industrial cooperation between India and the US.

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