The U.S.-India defense partnership is undergoing a remarkable transformation, according to a senior Defense Department official speaking at the Pentagon today. This enhanced cooperation between the world’s largest democracies, armed with highly skilled workers and innovative companies, marks a significant milestone in their relationship, the official stated during a briefing. The official emphasized that the current state of the U.S.-India defense partnership would have been unimaginable two decades ago. Back then, there were no defense sales from the United States to India whatsoever. However, today the two nations are not only engaged in co-production and co-development of major defense systems but also participating in joint air and maritime exercises in the region.
Crucial working groups have been established on various fronts, including cyberspace, critical technologies, and maritime security, with India playing a leading role alongside the United States and like-minded partners, the official added. These critical technologies encompass artificial intelligence, advanced sensor development, unmanned systems, quantum physics, and undersea domain awareness. Looking ahead, the official affirmed that India would emerge as a vital strategic partner for the United States in the coming decades. India’s increasing commitment to assuming a more active international role, particularly within the Indo-Pacific Quad, exemplifies its willingness to collaborate with the United States in safeguarding and advancing a shared vision of a free, open, and rules-based global order.
To further bolster this partnership, the INDUS X initiative is set to launch tomorrow, bringing together stakeholders, research institutions, academia, industry players, startups, and investors from both countries. INDUS X aims to expedite and scale up commercial technologies with military applications, establish agreed-upon standards for certification and testing, and facilitate the transition of startup technologies into the defense domain by providing access to capital, the official explained. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, hosting the event, expressed confidence in INDUS X’s potential to catalyze India’s goal of achieving $5 billion in defense exports by 2025 while diversifying its defense supply chain. The conference will also feature a defense exhibition, showcasing technologies and platforms that can enhance border security, maritime domain awareness, space situational awareness, and contribute to a more stable and secure Indo-Pacific region, according to a statement on the Chamber’s website.