India Prime Minister Narendra Modi intends to push for a potential joint weapons development project with the U.S. that will be supported directly by defense companies from the respective countries, Defense News reported Sunday.
Vivek Raghuvanshi reports that Indian defense analysts expect Modi to set aside government-to-government orders on high-tech weaponry for the collaborative work.
“By and large, the U.S. has been a supplier, but this is something that will undergo a change,” said Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, senior fellow in security studies at the Observer Research Foundation.
“There is interest on both sides to change the nature of transactions from a mere supplier to jointly develop systems and platforms,” he added.
An official from India’s external affairs ministry told the publication that Modi will discuss the country’s Defense Trade and Technology Initiative with U.S. officials during his visit to the White House on Tuesday, the report said.
Raghuvanshi writes that the initiative is aided by the current domestic political climate.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government is better inclined to increase defense cooperation with the United States, thus attempts to intensify the same are likely to be enhanced, particularly in terms of joint training exercises with possibility of a logistics support agreement in some form in the future,” said Rahul Bhonsle, a retired Indian army officer.
According to the report, previous efforts to establish a joint technology development program has been limited to explosives detection and C4I systems.