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India-US discuss joint military hardware production

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NEW DELHI (PTI): As Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to the US, a high-level Defence Ministry team is there to discuss the opportunities of jointly developing and manufacturing military hardware.

A Defence Ministry team, led by Secretary (Defence Production) G Mohan Kumar and including Director General (Acquisition) Asharam Sihag, is in Washington and discussing joint ventures with their American counterparts, Ministry sources told PTI.

The Secretary (Defence Production) is also the Indian representative for the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) proposed by the US under which it has offered co-production of the third-generation anti-tank Javelin missiles and other systems, the sources said.

Defence cooperation is expected to be one of the major focus areas during the Prime Minister's US visit where India is expected to finalise the deals for procuring American attack and heavy-lift helicopters for around Rs 15,000 crore.

In the last decade, India has emerged as one of the major buyers of American military equipment and has procured equipment worth over Rs 60,000 crore in these years.

The equipment supplied by the US includes the C-17 strategic lift transport aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules special operations planes, P-8I anti-submarine warfare planes and the AN-TPQ weapon locating radars.

The US has also offered to support India in establishing an indigenous weapon manufacturing sector in line with Modi's goal of achieving self-reliance in this sector.

The Prime Minister is leaving for the US on Thursday.

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