US defense secretary discusses upgrading ties with India to counter China
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday discussed upgrading partnership with India, a major arms buyer, and set a roadmap for cooperation for the next five years as both countries grapple with China’s economic rise and increased belligerence.
Austin's visit comes as India strengthens its domestic defense industry by acquiring new technologies and reducing reliance on imports, particularly from Russia, its largest supplier of military hardware despite the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Austin and his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, explored ways of building resilient supply chains.
They decided "to identify opportunities for the co-development of new technologies and co-production of existing and new systems and facilitate increased collaboration between defense startup ecosystems of the two countries."
They also discussed regional security issues and committed to strengthening operational collaboration across all military services, with an eye to supporting India’s leading role as a security provider in the Indo-Pacific,