2nd edition of Innovations in India U.S. Defence Summit

Feb 22: Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane has stressed that navigating the complex dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region, India and the United States are key stakeholders in the region, bound by shared values and common interests. He was speaking at the second edition of the INDUS-X Summit on 21st February 2024 in New Delhi.

“Today, we are witnessing a pivotal moment in the history of the Indo-Pacific region. The Indo-Pacific, with its vast expanse of oceans and strategic waterways, stands as the crossroad of global commerce, geopolitics, and security. In navigating the complex dynamics of this region, India and the United States find themselves as key stakeholders, bound by shared values and common interests,” said Defence Secretary.

Highlighting the robust defence partnership between the two countries, rooted in mutual respect and strategic convergence, Shri Giridhar Aramane mentioned Initiatives on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), launched jointly by Prime Minister Modi and President Joe Biden in the year 2022.  He said, “A pivotal aspect of our burgeoning relationship is the iCET that aims to establish ‘Innovation Bridges’ across key sectors, including defence, through expos, hackathons, and pitching sessions.”

He talked about the Defence Innovation Bridge, a significant outcome of iCET, catalyzing collaboration between US and Indian startups in the defence sector.

The Defence Secretary mentioned that the introduction of Joint IMPACT Challenges was a distinctive initiative aimed at collaboratively advancing defence and aerospace co-development and co-production initiatives. “The incorporation of start-ups actively involved in pioneering solutions introduces a fresh dimension to the breadth and potency of this partnership,” he said.

On the bilateral partnership in the aerospace and defence sectors, Shri Giridhar Aramane said, “Our bilateral relationship is flourishing, with India increasingly turning to the United States for cutting-edge equipment and technology. The United States, in turn, sees India as a key partner in its Indo-Pacific strategy, leveraging India’s growing defence capabilities.” He also talked about the multilateral engagements where both countries are stakeholders.

The Defence Secretary underscored the success stories of India’s defence production, ranging from shipbuilding, including aircraft carriers, to the development of advanced weaponry such as Tejas multi-role fighter aircraft, and attack and utility combat helicopters that have got the attention of international buyers across the globe.

Shri Giridhar Aramane called upon the India-US industry representatives and other stakeholders present at the Summit to further deepen the strategic bilateral partnership and harness the full potential of the cooperation. “By leveraging our respective strengths and capabilities, India and the United States can play a pivotal role in shaping the geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific, promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region,” he said.

The Defence Secretary participated in the Capstone session of the INDUS-X Summit where he was joined by INDOPACOM Commander Admiral John C Aquilino, Amb. Atul Keshap, President, USIBC with the session being moderated by Mr. Rexon Ryu, President, The Asia Group.

The second edition of the INDUS-X Summit was jointly organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the Ministry of Defence, India and the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 20-21 February 2024 in New Delhi. The event was jointly coordinated by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) and the Society of India Defense Manufacturers (SIDM). The Summit emphasised the crucial role of technological innovation in defence within the broader context of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership.

The pioneering INDUS-X Summit 2024 planned for two days was designed to foster collective progress for defence industries across borders, particularly to align the technological capabilities of startups and MSMEs, and also to engage in discussions, and bilateral dialogues on various pertinent objectives under the realms of INDUS-X and propose relevant outcome & way ahead to take the INDUS-X initiative forward.

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