Panaji: US defence secretary Ashton Carter is on a short visit to India and he will be hosted by defence minister Manohar Parrikar on aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya off the naval base at Karwar. The visit is a reciprocal gesture as Parrikar had visited aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower during his visit to the US in December.
India and US are likely to announce certain key agreements in the realm of defence and military cooperation. Parrikar and Carter are also expected to touch on the contentious Logistics Support Agreement during their two-day interaction in Goa.
During the meeting, the two leaders are likely to have wide-ranging discussions on Indo-US military cooperation including discussions for establishing an American fighter production line under the Make in India programme. The Indian defence establishment is keen on Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornets over Lockheed Martin’s F-16s.
USS Blue Ridge, the command flagship of the American 7th Fleet, is also currently anchored off Goa for Carter’s visit to India’s west coast.
This is the first time an American defence secretary will be boarding the Russian-built carrier which was inducted into the Indian Navy in 2014. The two will also be boarding the USS Blue Ridge, which is the oldest ship in the Seventh Fleet of the US Navy.
While Carter will be in Goa and Karwar on April 10 and 11, the substantive delegation-level meeting between the two sides will be held in New Delhi on April 12. The LSA, which is based on the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreements the US has inked with its military allies and other countries, envisages the Indian and American military providing logistic support, refuelling and berthing facilities for each other’s warships and aircraft on a barter or an equal-value exchange basis.
The two sides will also work to identify more military technologies for co-development and production under the bilateral defence technology and trade initiative.
Source: Defense News