Updated February 21st, 2024 at 20:58 IST

INDUS-X Summit: India & US key stakeholders in Indo-pacific region, says Defence Secy Aramane

India's defence companies are export-oriented, said Rajinder Singh Bhatia, President, Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.

Reported by: Saqib Malik
Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane | Image:PIB
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India -US ties: In navigating the complex dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region, India and the United States are key stakeholders in the region, bound by shared values and common interests, said Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane.  Aramane  was speaking on the concluding day of the second edition of INDUS-X Summit in New Delhi on Wednesday.  “Today, we are witnessing a pivotal moment in the history of the Indo-Pacific region. The Indo-Pacific, with its vast expanse of oceans and strategic waterways, stands as the crossroad of global commerce, geopolitics, and security,” said Aramane.

Highlighting the robust defence partnership between the two countries, rooted in mutual respect and strategic convergence, Aramane highlighted initiatives on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), launched jointly by Prime Minister Modi and President Joe Biden in the year 2022. 

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The Defence Secretary, “A pivotal aspect of our burgeoning relationship is the iCET that aims to establish ‘Innovation Bridges’ across key sectors, including defence, through expos, hackathons, and pitching sessions.” Giridhar underscored the Defence Innovation Bridge, a significant outcome of iCET, serving as a catalyst for collaboration between US and Indian startups in the defence sector. 

The Defence Secretary mentioned that the introduction of Joint IMPACT Challenges was a distinctive initiative aimed at collaboratively advancing defence and aerospace co-development and co-production initiatives. 

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“The incorporation of start-ups actively involved in pioneering solutions introduces a fresh dimension to the breadth and potency of this partnership,” he said. 

On the bilateral partnership in the aerospace and defence sectors, Aramane said,“Our bilateral relationship is flourishing, with India increasingly turning to the United States for cutting-edge equipment and technology,”  The United States, in turn, sees India as a key partner in its Indo-Pacific strategy, leveraging India’s growing defence capabilities, he said.

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Multilateral engagements 

The Defence Secretary underscored the success stories of India’s defence production, ranging from shipbuilding, including aircraft carriers, to the development of advanced weaponry such as Tejas multi-role fighter aircraft, and attack and utility combat helicopters that has got the attention of international buyers across the globe. 

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Giridhar Aramane called upon the India-US industry representatives and other stakeholders present in the Summit to further deepen the strategic bilateral partnership and harness the full potential of the cooperation. 

“By leveraging our respective strengths and capabilities, India and the United States can play a pivotal role in shaping the geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific, promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region,”he said. 

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The Defence Secretary participated in the Capstone session of the INDUS-X Summit where he was joined by INDOPACOM Commander Admiral John C Aquilino, Amb. Atul Keshap, President, USIBC with the session being moderated by Mr. Rexon Ryu, President, The Asia Group. 

The second edition of INDUS-X Summit was jointly organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), Ministry of Defence, India and the US Department of Defense (DoD) in February 2024 in New Delhi. 

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The event was jointly coordinated by US-India Business Council (USIBC) and Society of India Defense Manufacturers (SIDM). The Summit emphasised the crucial role of technological innovation in defence within the broader context of the US-India Strategic Partnership. 

The pioneering INDUS-X Summit 2024 planned for two days was designed to foster collective progress for defence industries across borders, particularly to align the technological capabilities for startups and MSMEs, and also to engage in discussions, and bilateral dialogues on various pertinent objectives under the realms of INDUS-X and propose relevant outcome & way ahead to take the INDUS-X initiative forward. 

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Published February 21st, 2024 at 20:44 IST