• Wednesday, May 29, 2024

India News

Austin: India-US fighter jet engine deal revolutionary

US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on April 09, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Pramod ThomasBy: Pramod Thomas

THE India-US deal to jointly produce fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force is revolutionary, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers on Wednesday.

The landmark deal was announced last June during the historic official state visit of prime minister Narendra Modi to the US.

The General Electric signed a memorandum of understanding with Hindustan Aeronautics to make fighter jet engines for the IAF.

Austin told the House Appropriations subcommittee that the US has a “great relationship” with India.

“We recently have enabled India to produce a jet weapon, a jet engine in India. And that’s kind of revolutionary. That will provide a great capability to them. We are also co-producing an armoured vehicle with India,” he said.

“So, all of these things, when you add them up, are probably more than we have seen happen in that region in a very, very long time,” Austin said.

He stated that all of this “promotes interoperability.”

“They all promote helping increase our ability to respond to a number of different things. Again, these are meaningful things that most of us are not aware of. We have made tremendous progress, and we will continue to do so,” he added.

Earlier in 2023, General Electric announced that it had inked an agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics to jointly manufacture engines in India to power fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.

Moreover, the Biden administration notified the US congress in February this year, of its intent to sell nearly $4 billion worth of arms, comprising mainly of the MQ 9 B Drones armed with Hellfire missiles.

The defence security cooperation agency, which is an agency within the US department of defence, said in a press release that the sale helps strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship.

It added that New Delhi continues to be an “important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.”

(Agencies)

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