By Andrea Shalal-Esa
WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Deputy Defense
Secretary Ashton Carter this week proposed ways to deepen
defense ties between the United States and India, including
co-development of the next version of the Javelin anti-tank
missile now built by Raytheon Co and Lockheed Martin
Carter, speaking at a news conference in India, said the two
countries were already expanding military relations through
exercises and increased trade in weapons. But he said it was
time to unleash what he called the "enormous untapped potential
between our private sectors in the defense field."
The Pentagon's No. 2 official said the United States was
trying to remove bureaucratic hurdles impeding technology
transfer between the two countries, and was giving priority
funding to researchers working with Indian partners in key areas
of science and technology.
The Obama administration, mindful of declining U.S. defense
spending levels, has tried to expand partnerships with many
countries, including India, on military sales, and has
dramatically stepped up its advocacy for U.S. arms sales abroad.
India and the United States announced a Defense Trade and
Technology Initiative, or DTI, one year ago during a visit to
India by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a joint effort to
streamline bureaucratic processes and expand defense trade.
One new initiative, Carter said, involved seeking
anticipatory approvals of some weapons projects even before
India finalized its military requirements.
A text of his remarks was released in Washington by the
"We on our side have already reached out to U.S. industry to
start identifying more transformative co-production and
co-development projects that we can undertake together," Carter
said. "We're going to keep reaching out and keep pushing."
He said he had proposed one specific project during his
meetings in India this week - co-development of the next
generation of the Javelin anti-tank missile.
"Rather than simply buying this generation of Javelin, India
would be able to ... also co-develop and co-produce the next
generation of Javelin for international buyers," Carter said.
"That's an entirely new proposal intended to reflect the DTI,
and it's being offered to no other country but India."
Asked about India's response, Carter said Indian officials
had said they needed time to consider the proposal.
He said U.S. government and industry needed to overcome
decades of segregation from their counterparts in India. "We
don't have the history that Russia does here, and we're trying
to replicate that," he said.
Washington was also offering a new electromagnetic
technology for catapulting fighter jets off aircraft carriers
called EMALS and built by privately held General Atomics to
India, Carter said. Other possible areas of cooperation included
counter-terrorism to maritime security.
"There are no boundaries from the U.S. point of view, and as
far as I know from the Indian point of view," he said.