New Delhi :
Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar met his United States counterpart, Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter, on Tuesday in Washington. The visit is Parrikar’s second to the United States as India’s defence minister and resulted in the conclusion of a long-anticipated bilateral deal on military logistics exchange, known as the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) that was first mooted in the early 2000s. Here are 10 things you need to know about this latest India-US defence deal:
1. LEMOA is a crucial military agreement that will make India and US logistical allies and enable both the militaries to use each other’s assets and bases for repair and replenishment of supplies.
2. According to Parrikar and Carter, the pact will facilitate opportunities for “practical engagement and exchange”. The agreement will facilitate the provision of logistical support, supplies and services between Indian and the US militaries on a reimbursable basis and will provide a framework to govern them.
3. The framework will provide to facilitate innovative and advanced opportunities in defence technology and trade cooperation.
4. To this end, the US has agreed to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with its closest allies and partners,” the joint statement issued by Parrikar and Carter said. Interestingly, US had designated India as a ‘Major Defence Partner’ (MDP) earlier this year.
5. The visit, their sixth official interaction to date, demonstrates the importance both sides place on strengthening defence ties across many areas: from strategic and regional cooperation, to deepened military-to-military exchanges, to expanded collaboration on defence technology and innovation, the release said.
6. During the meeting, Cater also welcomed India’s membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and reaffirmed US support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
7. Acknowledging India’s positive contributions to regional security and stability, including in matters beyond the maritime space, Carter and Parrikar announced their agreement to further consultations in the area, including through the next Maritime Security Dialogue, scheduled later this year.
8. India and the US also welcomed the progress achieved under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) so far. In Delhi in July this year, India and the US decided to broaden its agenda by setting up five joint working groups on naval systems, air systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, chemical and biological protection, and other systems.
9. Carter and Parrikar agreed to continue their close consultation on ‘Make in India’ proposals.
10. The two leaders also agreed that countering terrorism is an important shared objective of the two nations and appraised the recent completion of the Malabar naval exercise with Japan and India’s participation in the Rim-of-the-Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in Hawaii, as well as the Red Flag Air Force Exercise in Alaska.
(With PTI inputs)