US ready to help India modernise its military: US top commander

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."

By: PTI | Washington | Updated: August 13, 2017 10:17 pm
india us defence ties, india us defence trade, malabar naval exercise, Chinese submarines, rim of pacific exercise, india us relations, india us ties, indian military, Admiral Harry Harris  Harris reiterated that he believes that the deepening US-India relationship is the defining strategic partnership for the 21st century.

The US is ready to help India modernise its military and jointly they can improve India’s military capabilities in “significant and meaningful” ways, a top American commander has said.

Over the past decade, the defence trade between the US and India has touched nearly USD 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 told PTI.

“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, while advocating that Australia too should join 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.

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  1. V
    V M
    Aug 14, 2017 at 12:38 am
    It is beginning of a new world. This partnership can transform India, USA and world to establish India as First Grade Power along with USA. We can visualize a world with much reduced misery and poverty at lower strata in world.
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    1. M
      MyTake
      Aug 14, 2017 at 12:04 am
      (Harris reiterated that he believes that the deepening US-India relationship is the defining strategic partnership for the 21st century. ) It's more of like shedding of old skin, which again was mostly fake and artificial and getting of real new skin! There is no reason why true and real democracies can't work together bene ting each other's people. Fake democracy is worst than dictatorship - where diactatorship is alteast honest compared to any fake democracy! India has this burden of 70 years and sooner it do away with this is better.
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      1. L
        L bhadrapati Devi
        Aug 13, 2017 at 11:55 pm
        It is great chance for USA to get India a captive market for Arm. Whatever technology we are suppose to get from USA will not improve the living conditions of people of India. Modi acting according to I'll advise of West. West Uses Modi to profess west supremacy over Asian. Self destruction of India is observed.
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        1. V
          V M
          Aug 14, 2017 at 12:42 am
          Feeding on backward leftist teachings that created much misery in India in last 70 years. Please get a reality check. Come out of false propaganda.
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        2. M
          MyTake
          Aug 13, 2017 at 11:54 pm
          ("I think the trilateral relationship between India and Japan and the US, that relationship is very important,” he said, while advocating that Australia too should join 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") This will make sense to those who are concerned about the future of the world and for the common good. Strengthening the positive forces of the world is the only solution to successfully fight against any evil, although, some time evils forces come together before any good "realization" dawns on the the otherwise good people! Probably nature itself is like that - short time "benefits" binds the "birds of feathers" (China, North Korea and Pakistan for example) together, quicker than those in the opposite camp!
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          1. H
            Herny White
            Aug 13, 2017 at 11:49 pm
            Yes, India should ask for USA sell full F22 or F35 production line to India, India is rich enough! F35 full production line include first mass 100s F35 and future maintain, supporting equipment total cost about 150 billion USD, matched combat system include phased array radar, missile system need another about 50 or 100 billion USD, also need training cost, soldier cost..I think it is easy for every Indian people to spend about 200 upto 450USD each year for feed the great Indian air force.
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