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COMCASA access to US technologies

Speedy progress for defence industry


Speedy progress for defence industry


The Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Defence Secretary James N. Mittis on 6 Sept 2018.


The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) will enable India to access advanced technologies from the US and enhance India’s defence preparedness.

It was signed during India-U.S. Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi on 6 Sept 2018.

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Mattis attended the inaugural India-U.S. Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue, a reflection of the shared commitment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump to provide a positive, forward-looking vision for the India-U.S. strategic partnership.

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister Nirmala Sitharaman led Indian side in the dialogue.

The COMCASA will facilitate access to advanced defense systems and enable India to optimally utilize its existing US-origin platforms. The dialogue will also explore other means to support further expansion in two-way trade in defense items and defense manufacturing supply chain linkages.

Following the dialogue, India and US are to begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defense industry cooperation and collaboration.

India welcomed the recent decision to elevate India to STA Tier 1 (Strategic Trade Authorization) status for access to advanced technologies, especially in the defence field.

“I am confident that this and other measures to follow will enable our defence industry cooperation to make speedy progress for mutual benefit,” Sitharaman said.

India has also identified cooperation in defence innovation as a major area of emphasis for the future.

“As our defence needs become increasingly driven by technology, this is both necessary and timely,” stressed Sitharaman.

Acknowledging the unique role of technology in the India-US defense partnership, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue to encourage and prioritize co-production and co-development projects through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and to pursue other avenues of defense innovation cooperation.

In this regard, they welcomed the conclusion of a Memorandum of Intent between the US Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX).

“I am particularly thankful to have Secretary Mattis, who has spent several years in Silicon Valley, as our interlocutor in taking this aspect of our ties forward. The Memorandum of Intent between our defence innovation agencies is a first step in this direction,” she said.

Sitharaman highlighted the major reforms being implemented by the Indian government to promote defence manufacturing under the Make in India initiative, including setting up of defence manufacturing corridors.

She welcomed the US’ positive response to India’s request to nominate a Point of Contact in the US Department of Defense to help address procedural complexities and facilitate Indian companies to join the manufacturing supply chains of American defence companies.

Meanwhile, Washington welcomed India’s accession to the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile Technology Control Regime and reiterated its full support for India’s immediate accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

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