India, US likely to discuss key defence matters today
India and the USA are likely to bargain hard on a key logistics support agreement and a “pre-bid guarantee” on the transfer of technology in case an American firm bids for ‘Make in India’ fighter jet programme.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, who arrived here from Goa on Monday evening, will hold delegation-level talks with his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday.
Freedom of navigation and joint exercises, especially in the maritime field, are among the issues that will be up on the table. The two leaders had already met in Goa, where Carter had arrived on Sunday.
Besides this meeting, Parrikar on Monday hosted Carter on board India’s Russian-made aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in Karwar.
Three agreements – Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) – all resisted by the previous UPA government are likely to figure on the US agenda on Tuesday. However, under the new dispensation, things have changed and India is open to a tweaked LSA.