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US NSA arrives in India on June 13 to push bilateral ties to next level

A week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on his state visit to Washington, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will arrive in Delhi on June 13 for a two-day visit to finalize details of the GE-414 engine deal, finetune the two countries’ position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and discuss the sharing of technologies to counter cyber threats – all issues that will likely find mention when the Indian PM meets US President Joe Biden on June 22. PM Modi leaves for the US on June 20.

NSA Ajit Doval with US NSA Jake Sullivan in Washington on January 31, 203 for iCET meeting.

During his visit to Delhi, NSA Jake Sullivan, who has driven the US agenda on cementing ties with India, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, apart from holding talks with NSA Ajit Doval.

The two NSAs, on January 31, unveiled an ambitious bilateral agenda after holding the inaugural meeting of initiative on critical and emerging technologies (iCET). It was during this meeting the two countries decided to join hands in quantum technologies, high performance computing, resilient semiconductor supply chains apart from unveiling a Defense Industrial Cooperation map with initial focus on jet engines, munition related technologies and other hardware systems. The two NSAs met in Saudi Arabia last May 7 along with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE NSA Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan with a vision of building road and critical infrastructure connectivity in West Asia.

HT learns that the US and Indian NSAs are working to close the 100% transfer of technology for manufacturing GE-414 jet engines in India with Sullivan clearing resistance for the deal coming from the US State Department.

The GE-414 engines will power the India-made Tejas Mark II fighters, which will form the backbone of the Indian Air Force this decade. As some parts of GE-414 engine are sourced from European countries, the US is trying to get all partners on board so that the engine is built in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

India is also looking to manufacture precision guided munitions in collaboration with US companies apart from buying armed drones off the shelf on government-to-government basis.

Sullivan and Doval are also expected to discuss the position to be adopted on the Ukraine war as well as the counter to the Chinese challenge in the Indo-Pacific.

With the US ready to help New Delhi in countering the cyber security challenge posed by China to critical infrastructure in India, the two NSAs will also discuss the cyber threat and how best to share technologies to counter the hackers from adversarial countries.

Sullivan’s visit will come a week after US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s . India’s foreign secretary visited the US on June 5 for the first strategic trade dialogue.

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