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US increasing scope complexity and frequency of military engagements with India: Shanahan

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SINGAPORE (PTI): The US is increasing the scope, complexity and frequency of its military engagements with India, now a "Major Defence Partner", Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Saturday.

Defence cooperation and peacekeeping are two key areas of the rapidly growing US-India partnership as envisioned in the Trump administration's Indo-Pacific Strategy.

"US-India defence relations have strengthened significantly over the last decade, and India is now a Major Defence Partner. We are increasing the scope, complexity, and frequency of our military engagements, to include our first tri-service exercise later this year," Shanahan said in his address to the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

The signing of the Communications, Compatibility, and Security Agreement or COMCASA last year was a historic development that enables the two countries to further expand their relationship toward more practical and meaningful areas of cooperation, he said.

The COMCASA will facilitate India to obtain critical defence technologies from the US, and access critical communication network to ensure interoperability among the US and the Indian armed forces.

It will also allow the installation of high-security US communication equipment on defence platforms being sourced from the US.

"This includes greater interoperability and information-sharing," Shanahan said.

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