Parrikar to discuss military strategies in upcoming US visit


New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will head to the US later this week to discuss military strategies such as Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI), collaborative production of military equipment, strengthening maritime security and intelligence exchange between the two nations.

Parrikar is set to leave on December 4 for the US on a nine-day visit and would be back on December 15 before the Combined Commanders’ Conference on board INS Vikramaditya.

The Defence Minister is expected to discuss the US providing advanced weapons to Pakistan, even as the latter yet continues to indulge in terror breeding. The minister, in his scheduled meeting with his American counterpart Ashton Carter, would also discuss the issue of Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons and their repetitive chants of using them in the event of a war with India.

Indian has already signed defence deals with the US worth over $13 billion from 2007 and some are in the pipeline as well. The US is further eager to ink two bilateral deals with India, which include the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) along with the Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum Agreement (CISMOA). These are expected to be foundational agreements which have been pending for long.

The previous UPA government agreements, with the then defence minister AK Antony, were staunchly contradicted by the US. Since NDA government came to power last year, new 10-year India-US defence model and joint vision announcements for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region were signed and extended earlier this year. Washington has reclaimed its implementation on the two mentioned pacts. “Some discussions have taken place,” stated a leading daily.

India is chiefly interested in the EMALS (electromagnetic aircraft launch systems), formulated by General Atomics for aircraft carriers, as it would provide the country with the long-term project to build INS Vishal, a 65,000-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier.

The US also intends to engage in further multi-lateral naval participation in the Asia-Pacific region, similar to the Malabar exercise with Japan in the Bay of Bengal earlier this October.

The US looks for similarities in India’s Act East Policy and their rebalance of military forces and, hence, seek an opportunity of collaboration on the foundation of China’s belligerent behaviour in the South China Sea.

Parrikar is also anticipated to deliberate upon possibilities under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. US manufacturer Lockheed Martin has already extended its plans to assist the Indian government’s ambition for ‘Make in India’.