- The Indian Navy rented two of these drones in November 2020, not long after Indian and Chinese troops fought at the Galwan border.
- After Modi's trip to the US last week, the two countries agreed to end six pending trade disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, said Wednesday that India and the US can send ships and air forces together in the Indo-Pacific “to ensure freedom of the skies and seas.”
During a speech at Delhi’s Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), he said, “We can put our ships in the Pacific and Indian seas together…to keep the seas safe…Our air force can be used all over the Indo-Pacific area…”
The American diplomat also suggested that the two countries work together to plan land-force exercises in different areas and make it easier for their forces to work together.
“We need to build trust into the way our forces work together,” he said. “We can do this by increasing the amount of human contact, communication, and cooperation between our forces.”
Garcetti called for New Delhi and Washington to work together on more defense projects. He pointed out that the two countries already work together in the field of engineering and have projects planned in the areas of aero engines, artillery, and ground vehicles.
His comments come just a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to the US, where the two countries agreed to a $3 billion drone deal that includes India buying 15 Sea Guardian drones made in the US.
The Indian Navy rented two of these drones in November 2020, not long after Indian and Chinese troops fought at the Galwan border. In addition to the 15 new Sea Guardian drones, India wants to extend the lease on two Sea Guardian drones that are currently stationed at a military base in Tamil Nadu. The current lease ends in 2024.
Garcetti also said that the US and India are “putting old trade fights behind them.”
After Modi’s trip to the US last week, the two countries agreed to end six pending trade disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO). India also chose to stop charging tariffs on 28 US goods.