- Kendall said that India and the US are also working on signing some parts of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), which was one of the three foundation agreements signed in 2020.
- Kendall met with S Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, and the team of Ajit Doval, the national security advisor.
A top Pentagon official who was in India on Tuesday said that trust between the US and India has grown, and that both countries want to sign an agreement between their air forces as they look at ways to work together on defence technology, such as jet engines.
But the US Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall, brought up American concerns about the Make in India programme of the Indian government. He said that the requirement that a larger share of products be made in India should be put into place in stages instead of all at once.
“It can be hard to meet the requirements that a certain percentage be made in India. They are sometimes hard to meet in real life. We have to ease into that change. “You might start with a small amount, but you know how to get there over time,” he said.
A briefing for reporters after his meetings with different people in India’s defence and security establishment, he said that the US is eager to talk to India about how it can meet India’s need for new fighters.
“India needs its own things. They should decide what kind of skills its fighter force needs to have. If American capabilities can meet those needs, I think we’re ready to talk about it.”
“There are opportunities that might work for India that would require making changes to our current fighters. We want to work with India on this possibility,” he said, referring to the offer by the American company Lockheed Martin for its F-21 fighters, which are an upgrade of the F-16s.
He said that the US and India are looking at signing the air information sharing agreement in order to work together more.
One of the American officials at the briefing said, “This is a very general way for us to talk about what we are doing.”
Kendall said that India and the US are also working on signing some parts of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), which was one of the three foundation agreements signed in 2020.
When he talked about cooperation, he said that the US and India talking about the possibility of a jet engine technology transfer is a big step in the right direction. He also said that both countries have a lot of opportunities to work together on artificial intelligence, space, and new technologies.
He said that when it comes to sharing technology, the US is “leaning forward more than they have in the past.”
“That place has more potential. We’re also excited to try new things and loosen some of our rules,” he said.
But he pointed out that the US is worried about the Make in India programme.
Kendall met with S Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, and the team of Ajit Doval, the national security advisor.