As Washington pursues tighter ties with Delhi as a strategy to counter China, a top Pentagon official announced on Thursday that the two countries will co-develop drones.
According to this official, India will manufacture these aircraft and export them to other nations in the region. Delhi aspires to expand its own defense sector as well as diversify its arsenal, which is primarily built in Russia.
Eli Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told a group of media and defense experts, “And we want to support India on both fronts and are doing so.”
Ratner explained that this would entail tight collaboration with India in order to co-produce and co-develop capabilities that would help India’s own defense modernization objectives.
Following that, India will be able to “export to our partners across the region, especially in South and Southeast Asia, at competitive prices.” Ratner mentioned the potential for creating drones that are launched from aircraft as well as anti-drone defense systems.