Top American senators have asked the Pentagon to develop a closer defence relationship with India, saying it is in the interest of both the countries to continue building a strategic and military culture of cooperation.
Senators John Cornyn and Mark Warner asked United States Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton B Carter, in a letter, to consider the potential of the US entering into a partnership with India to co-develop or co-produce military weapon systems, ahead of Carter's visit to India, reports the Daily Times.
Senators Cornyn and Warner are the co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus, which is the largest country-specific caucus in the US Senate with 38 senators.
"We see the partnership between our two democracies as critical to the maintenance and expansion of a rules-based international system that promotes freedom, democracy, security, prosperity, and the rule of law in the 21st century," Senators Cornyn and Warner wrote in the letter to Carter.
"Recent US arms sales have benefited the US and India alike, increasing commonality of military equipment platforms, providing expanded opportunities to conduct joint military exercises, and contributing to security in the Indo-Pacific region," they wrote.
"With these interests in mind, and with the goal of further expanding US-India defence trade, we encourage you to actively engage with your Indian counterparts to develop ways to improve the compatibility of the defence acquisition systems of the US and India," they further wrote.
The two senators urged Carter to include, in his discussions with Indian officials, two important focus areas -- ways to improve the compatibility of US and Indian defence acquisition systems and potential opportunities for co-development or co-production of defence equipment with India.