|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
India, US hold defence meet
November 18, 2005 21:21 IST
As part of expanding bilateral military cooperation, India and the United States held the first ever meeting of the Defence Production and Procurement Group in Washington on Friday.
The DPPG talks, which will continue into Monday, will start addressing the acquisition of multi-role combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force. S Banarjee, Director General of Acquisitions in Defence Ministry, is leading the Indian side while his counterpart in the Defence Security and Cooperation Agency General Jeff Kohler heads the US team.
India is in the market for the aircraft and the government has reportedly identified five companies, two of which are American - Lockheed Martin for the F-16s and Boeing for the F-18s. Both Washington and New Delhi will also look into how DPPG can start addressing the plethora of issues pertaining to the defence procurement. The DPPG parleys will be followed by Defence Policy Group meeting from Monday.
The three-day DPG meet will discuss future activities and look at threat perception on a conceptual level. The parleys will be between Indian Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt and the Under Secretary of Defence for Policy at the Pentagon, Eric S Edelman.
The Indian team will have members from agencies including Ministries of defence and external affairs. The Indian defence secretary is also scheduled to meet US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, who is expected to spell out his ideas on how to carry forward bilateral cooperation on matters pertaining to defence.