Department of Defense of United States, the Pentagon, has created a first-ever country special cell for India to boost up its defence ties with India and speed up the process of co-production and co-development of hi-tech military equipment in U.S.
After Ashton Carter, Defence Secretary, assumed Pentagon’s leadership role and has been established soon in February, It will be headed by Keith Webster, International Cooperation Office of the Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Director.
This makes India the only country in the world to have a specific cell of its kind inside the Pentagon.
“The purpose of India Rapid Reaction Cell is to work all the initiatives that we have ongoing under (India-US) DTTI (Defence Trade and Technology Initiative) – both the initiatives that for example came out of the joint statement between the (US) President and the Prime Minister in January (in New Delhi) to move quickly and timely and be through, which in my opinion requires dedicated support to ramp up the operational tempo,” Mr Webster told PTI.
“We are embarking on some new initiatives and the operational tempo is not declining at all,” he added.
A series of high-level exchanges in the next coming months are scheduled to take place between both countries, that includes of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visit to the Pentagon. Strategic and Defence relationship would be a key topic of discussion when Barack Obama, US President meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York later in September.
The India Rapid Reaction cell has been instrumental in speeding up many projects and has started the process to send some new proposals here for co-development and co-production. The hydroelectric initiative for mobile and for-the-next- generation initiatives required conclusion, negotiations and signing of bilateral pacts.