WASHINGTON — The United States and India have reached a new series of agreements on climate change, nuclear power and national security Tuesday, including a new status for India as a "Major Defense Partner" to the US.
Following a meeting between President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday, the White House released a joint statement acknowledging the US-India defense relationship as a "possible anchor of stability," and heralding new technology sharing "at a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners."
The leaders reached an understanding under which India would receive license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with unspecified steps that India has committed to take to advance its export control objectives, the statement read.
Under the India's "Make In India" initiative and the expansion of the co-production and co-development of technologies under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), the two nations are starting DTTI working groups to include agreed items covering naval, air and other weapons systems.
The leaders announced the finalization of the agreements on aircraft carrier technology cooperation, and the finalization of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which has been a decade in the making. They also announced US-India cooperation on maritime security, affirming their support United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and settlement of territorial disputes by peaceful means.
Obama and Modi's meeting was the seventh since Modi took power in 2014.
Modi will address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday.
Joe Gould is senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry.