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US defence sales to India will create hundreds of jobs

June 14, 2012 16:34 IST
India has emphasised on defence technology transfer, co-development and co-production with the United States in the expanding defence ties between the two countries.

"The secretary (of state) and I support the growing emphasis on defense technology transfer and co-development and co-production in our expanding defense relationship," External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told reporters at a joint news conference with Hillary Clinton.

Clinton and Krishna briefed reporters on the outcome of the third India-US Strategic Dialogue that was held at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the state department.

According to a fact sheet issued by the state department, the US and India continue to develop their defence partnership through military sales and joint research, co-production and co-development.

With more than USD 9 billion in sales over the last decade and another USD 10 billion in the pipeline, US defence sales to India will create hundreds of US jobs, it said.

Through defence sales, the US and India will have the largest C-17 transport fleets in the world, strengthening their ability to deliver humanitarian assistance across the region and facilitating their continued roles in United Nations peacekeeping operations around the world, it said.

In 2011 the United States participated in 56 cooperative events across all services with India -- more than New Delhi has with any other country. These include the Malabar, Shatrujeet, and Yudh Abhayas exercises.

In support of the United States' commitment to accounting for all Americans missing from past conflicts, India has agreed to resume US missions to recover service member remains in India. There are an estimated 400 unaccounted for US service members in Northeast India, primarily as a result of WWII aircraft crashes.

"I have informed Secretary Clinton of our willingness to receive a team of officials to visit India for the search and recovery of the remains of the MIAs from World War II," Krishna told reporters.

Earlier in the day, in her opening remarks, to the India-US Strategic Dialogue, Clinton said the militaries of the two countries are participating in joint exercises and are increasingly cooperating to combat piracy, patrol vital sea lanes, and protect freedom of navigation.

"Bilateral defense trade has surpassed USD 8 billion over the last five years. We are convinced this partnership can grow in the future to include joint research, development, and co-production of defense systems," she said.

"In our discussions today, I hope we can focus in particular on the need to deepen cooperation on cyber security, which is a growing concern for both of us," she said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington, DC