India and the United States have reached a significant defense agreement, with plans to produce engines for the next generation of fighter jet aircraft.
President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have come to an understanding that involves the transfer of US drones and fighter jet engines to India. This collaboration is viewed as a crucial step in countering the military expansion of China and represents a significant development in the relationship between the two nations.
The defense deal encompasses various aspects to strengthen cooperation between the United States and India. It includes permitting US Navy ships to dock in Indian shipyards for repairs and bolstering defense ties. President Biden has emphasized the significance of the US-India relationship in addressing the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
The timing of this agreement holds particular importance, as the United States has expressed concerns about India’s close association with Russia during the conflict in Ukraine. By enhancing its alliance with India, the US intends to build a network of partnerships to balance China’s influence. An article by Prof. Maya Jasanoff in The New York Times highlights the significance of having India as an ally in what is referred to as “Cold War II” with China.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States, he addressed both houses of Congress and participated in a special dinner at the White House. The defense deal’s key aspect involves producing F414 engines through a collaboration between General Electric’s aerospace unit and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics. These engines will be utilized to power Tejas fighter jets.
Additionally, India has agreed to acquire 31 armed MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones from the United States, amounting to over $3 billion. The visit also witnessed agreements in other sectors, including Micron Technology’s plan to establish a semiconductor testing and packaging unit in Gujarat, Prime Minister Modi’s home state.
The United States has further pledged to facilitate the visa process for skilled Indian workers. Moreover, India and NASA have agreed to collaborate on a joint mission to the International Space Station in 2024.