14:47 GMT +314 December 2019
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    US Defense Secretary James Mattis.

    US Defense Secretary Calls India’s Counterpart, Vows to Push Defense Cooperation

    © AFP 2019 / Mandel NGAN
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    Despite making efforts to speed up defense technology co-operation agreement, former US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had failed to impress Indian bureaucracy.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Amid slow movement in defense technology co-operation agreement, US Defense Secretary James Mattis has called up his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar and expressed commitment to build on the tremendous progress in bilateral defense co-operation underscoring the strategic importance of the US-India relationship and India's role in advancing global peace and security. "India and US have agreed to sustain the momentum on key bilateral defense efforts" Pentagon spokesperson Jeff Davis said.

    In spite of having defense technology co-operation agreement in Place since 2012, only two projects namely Next General Individual Protection Ensemble and Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Source have reached agreement stage. Several other proposal made by US did not attract India's attention; mainly due to low grade technologies.

    Both leaders have expressed commitment to sustain the momentum on key bilateral defense efforts to include the defense technology and trade initiative (DTII). DTII is a framework under which both the nations jointly develop and manufacture US military equipment in India. Talks on this framework have been moving slowly since its initiation in 2012.

    US blames Indian administration for creating unnecessary hurdles in furthering defense co-operation while Delhi categorically stated that it is not intended to accept the low grade technology or technologies which is already available in India.

    Currently, both the countries are working on six projects under DTII framework. India hopes feasible terms on jet engine for its indigenous Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft Program. India had sanctioned funds last year for lead-in work for the indigenous UCAV (Ghatak) and AMCA projects.

    In their first conversation, Secretary Mattis committed to build upon the progress in bilateral defense cooperation made in recent years, 

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    cooperation, Manohar Parrikar, James Mattis, Jeff Davis, United States, India
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