India and the US to develop drones together
As America works to build ties with India in a bid to counter China's growing influence in Asia and the world stage, a senior Pentagon official has revealed that the White House will partner with New Delhi to build and export drones to regional neighbours.
Reported by newswire agency AFP, India's weaponry is currently largely Russian-made, and the government is looking to diversify its defence industry. An opportunity to partner with America, and build drones in country fit this policy.
"We want to support India on both fronts and are doing so," said Eli Ratner, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, according to AFP. "In practical terms, it means that we're going to be working closely with India on co-producing and co-developing capabilities that will support India's own defence modernisation goals."
Ratner highlighted that this project will help India export more affordable and more capable drones to countries in the region. He also highlighted the possibility of working on drones that can be deployed from airplanes and anti-drone defence systems.
Ratner also confirmed that the White House is evaluating opportunities to "co-produce" drones with India in the near and medium term, but did not provide any other specifics.
India and America have had a rocky relationship for many years, including earlier this year when India refused to bow to Western demands to unconditionally embargo Russian oil imports, but the growing threat of China has forced the two countries back together. In particular, Prime Minister Modi and former President Donald Trump built closer ties during their concurrent tenures.
This report has not been independently verified by YourStory.