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India, US Working on Framework for Sharing of Classified Defence Technology, Safety of Sensitive Information

At present, there is no provision for sharing classified defence information by American companies with the Indian private sector although both countries have been favouring joint development of critical military platforms.

PTI

Updated:June 9, 2019, 4:31 PM IST
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India, US Working on Framework for Sharing of Classified Defence Technology, Safety of Sensitive Information
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New Delhi: India and the US are working on a framework to facilitate transfer of critical military technology and classified information by American defence firms to Indian private sector for joint ventures, authoritative sources said.

The framework will also prescribe specific measures for ensuring safety and security of sensitive technology and classified information when shared with Indian firms.

At present, there is no provision for sharing classified defence information by American companies with the Indian private sector although both countries have been favouring joint development of critical military platforms.

The two countries are working on the specific framework to facilitate sharing of critical military technology by American defence firms with their Indian counterparts, the sources said.

They said the government-to-government framework will also bring clarity on issues relating to liability, intellectual property rights and industrial safety.

The American defence industry were pushing for such a framework for collaboration with Indian defence firms in private sectors for producing military hardware and platforms.

American defence giants including Boeing and Lockheed Martin are eyeing billions of dollars of contracts in India and have already offered to manufacture some of their key military platforms in India while forging joint ventures with Indian companies.

Last month, Lockheed Martin offered to manufacture its newly rolled out F-21 fighter in India. The US aerospace giant also said it will not sell the aircraft to any other country if if it places an order for 114 planes.

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has also been pushing for a framework for sharing of critical technology with Indian firms.

An official said several US companies were eyeing mega projects in India under the ambitious strategic partnership model but they were apprehensive of safety and security of critical technology when it is shared with Indian private sector.

Under the strategic partnership model, select private firms will be roped in to build military platforms like submarines and fighter jets in India in partnership with foreign entities.

Indo-US defence ties are on an upswing and both New Delhi and Washington have said they are committed to expanding these further.

Both sides have also been pushing for joint venture and collaboration between private sectors of the two countries in defence manufacturing.

In June 2016, the US had designated India a "Major Defence Partner," intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.

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