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US, India Sign Bilateral Space Situational Awareness Arrangement To Boost Tech Partnership

India and US signed a bilateral space situational awareness arrangement which would add a new dimension to the growing defence relationship, said Lloyd Austin

India and the United States signed a bilateral space situational awareness arrangement which would add a new dimension to the growing defence relationship between both the nations, said US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday. New Delhi and Washington signed the agreement on Monday when Austin, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Union Defence Minister met for a 2+2 ministerial dialogue in Washington.

At the conclusion of the summit, Austin told reporters, “I’m pleased to announce that just a few moments ago, we signed a bilateral space situational awareness arrangement, and this will support greater information sharing and cooperation in space.”

“We’re also deepening our cooperation in cyberspace, including through training and exercises later this year. And we’re expanding our information sharing partnership across all warfighting domains,” US Defence Secretary added.

@SecDef: I’m pleased to announce that, just a few moments ago, [the U.S. and India] signed a bilateral Space Situational Awareness arrangement. pic.twitter.com/TiUd13yV8v — Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) April 11, 2022

Austin also noted that India and the United States have important commitments that will drive technological innovation and cooperation in new defence domains such as space and cyberspace. He added, “For example, we’re committed to launching new defence space exchanges later this year between our Space Command and India’s Defence Space Agency”. US Defence secretary added that President Joe Biden’s administration is working closely with New Delhi on a range of issues to support India’s security as well as its role as a net security provider.

Austin touts India-US Defence cooperation

Touting India-US defence cooperation, Austin said, “We recently concluded an agreement to work together on air-launched unmanned aerial vehicles through our Defence Technology and Trade Initiative. And today we agreed to launch new supply chain cooperation measures that will let us more swiftly support each other’s priority defence requirements”.

“Indian continues to acquire key US defence platforms, and that is forging important new ties between our defence industrial bases. We’re doing all of this because the US supports India as a defence industry leader in the Indo-Pacific and a net provider of security in the region,” he said. Noting that China was seeking to refashion the region and the international system in ways that serve its interests, the US Defence Secretary said both nations have identified fresh opportunities to further elevate the operational reach of their militaries and to coordinate more closely across the Indo-Pacific.

Concluded a productive and substantive 2+2 Ministerial Meeting.

Discussed contemporary challenges and issues in an open and constructive manner. Resolved that our strategic partnership would continue to grow and play a greater role in shaping the direction of world affairs. pic.twitter.com/dO9GwvzAI6 — Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) April 12, 2022