US ready to help India modernise its military: Admiral Harris

08/13/2017

Washington, August 13: A top American commander has offered the US help to India to modernise its military, saying that together they can improve India’s military capabilities in significant and meaningful ways.

Over the past decade, the defence trade between the US and India has touched nearly $15 billion and is expected to gallop in the next few years, as India is looking at the US for some of the latest military hardware including fighter jets, latest unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft carriers.

“I believe that the US is ready to help India modernise its military. India has been designated a major defence partner of the US. This is a strategic declaration that’s unique to India and the US. It places India on the same level that we have many of our treaty allies,” Commander of the US Pacific Command or PACOM Admiral Harry Harris said.

“This is important, and I believe that together we will be able to improve India’s military capabilities in significant and meaningful ways,” said Harris, who has been personally pushing for a strong India-US defence relationship.

The Admiral said he is fairly happy with the level of defence cooperation that exists today between the two sides.

“We have been partners with India in the Malabar exercise series, the maritime exercise, for a number of years. I participated in one of the very first... one of the early Malabars, in 1995,” he recollected, reflecting on the decades old association with India.

Noting that the exercise, and the complexity of it, has improved steadily over the years, he said he is very pleased that Japan is part of Malabar.

“I think the trilateral relationship between India and Japan and the US, that relationship is very important,” he said as he advocated for Australia too joining this group.

“We could explore together bringing Australia into the exercise. That has merit. There’s a lot of common interests in the Indian Ocean, between Australia and India. But that’s really a decision for India to make, and then a decision for Australia to participate, if so invited. I’ll leave that to those two countries,” Harris said in response to a question.

According to Harris, there is a lot that India and the US can do together.

“I’m pleased that India is a participant in Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the Pacific exercise that’s hosted every other year in Hawaii. I’m pleased in general with where the relationship is going, and I look forward to more as the years progress,” he said.

Responding to a question on India’s decision against the American move to have a joint India-US naval patrol in the Indian Ocean, Harris said the US is not disappointed at all.

“I’m not disappointed. This is on the patrols... I’m not disappointed at all, I’m encouraged that we were able to have a discussion about it, and I hope that that discussion remains open,” he said.

“We stand ready to participate at whatever level India wants us to participate,” Harris said.

Harris refrained from giving any answer on India and the United States starting to share information about Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean region.

“I don’t want to answer the question, because I don’t want to imply that I’m sharing intelligence, or anything like that. I’ll just simply say that a close relationship between US and India is clearly helpful to the United States, and I believe helpful to India as well,” Harris said in response.

Harris reiterated that he believes that the deepening US-India relationship is the defining strategic partnership for the 21st century.

“I’m very interested, and very supportive, of what’s happening in India. The Indian armed forces, and that whole piece…I think that the opportunities for our two countries are simply great. It’s fantastic,” Harris said.

Noting that India remains an important line of effort at Pacific Command, Harris said America’s national leadership is working closely with India’s to grow the partnership between the two countries. PTI

Related News

India, France ink €7.87 billion agreement for 36 Rafales

NEW DELHI, 23 Sept : India and France on Friday concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of €7.87 billion, the first fighter aircraft deal since the purchase of Sukhois from Russia in the late 90’s. The deal was signed by Defence…

Let's fight battle to build a better nation and see who wins: PM Modi to Pakistan

Mohua Chatterjee| TNN | Updated: Sep 24 : KOZHIKODE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday broke his silence on the Uri terror attack and tore into Pakistan for its role in supporting terror in the region. At his first public rally since the Uri incident, PM Modi challenged Pakistan - not at conventional war - but in…

Terror as state policy is war crime, Shah tells Pakistan

KOZHIKODE,September 25 : The BJP on Sunday reinforced Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message to Pakistan, with party president tabling a statement on the terrorist attack on Uri, positing it as one in a decade-and-a-half of terror strikes against India by Pakistan. BJP president Amit Shah described Pakistan as a country…

Pakistan not getting support in UN on surgical strikes issue: Akbaruddin

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 1 : India has said that Pakistan approaching the United Nations on the issue of surgical strikes by the Indian Army across the LoC has not found any resonance in the world body and rejected claims that the UN mission monitoring ceasefire “has not directly observed” any firing…

Pakistan still in anaesthesia after surgery, says Parrikar

DEHRADUN/NEW DELHI, Oct, 2 : Pakistan is like a patient who has been given anaesthesia and doesn’t know that surgery has already been done on him, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday. The Minister’s remarks are first comments from a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) following the…

Baramulla: It was a terror attack, not a case of friendly fire, says Indian BSF

NEW DELHI, Oct. 4 : The Indian BSF denied reports of "friendly fire" resulting in casualties during the terror attack on the Baramulla camp even as speculation swirled about tense nerves leading to firing late on Sunday night. The border force said terrorists struck at a joint Army-BSF camp and this claimed the life of one…

Video

Find Us on Facebook

From Social

Tokyo (Japan), Sept. 13: A new leadership assumed responsibilities at the Non Resident Nepalese Association (NRNA), Japan on Sunday. The new office bearers took oath of office and secrecy after a long fought battle resulting from dissatisfaction from those who…

Lama led officials assume responsibility in NRNA Japan