With an eye on Pak-sponsored terror, Parrikar to seek predator drone tech during US visit

In the past, the US has shied away from offering its armed predator drones to India, which have been used in Afghanistan and Pakistan, ANI reported.

Updated: Aug 28, 2016, 18:58 PM IST
With an eye on Pak-sponsored terror, Parrikar to seek predator drone tech during US visit

New Delhi: The predator drone technology will be high on the agenda when Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar meets his US counterpart on Monday.

Parrikar, who left for Washington on Sunday, will meet with his US counterpart Ashton Carter on Monday.

This will be the sixth meeting between the two defence ministers.

In the past, the US has shied away from offering its armed predator drones to India, which have been used in Afghanistan and Pakistan, ANI reported.

After India formally joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 27, 2016, the possibility of New Delhi being able to convince Washington to part or share this drone technology, appears to be bright, the report said.

It is being speculated that the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) is likely to be signed between the two countries during Parrikar's visit.

The agreement was announced during Carter's visit in April this year. The United States is also likely to push its case for the manufacture of American fighter jet planed in India under the 'Make in India' initiative.

Parrikar may also bring up India's concerns over Pakistan's inaction against militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) as also the instability being created on the Indian side of Kashmir by Islamabad.

The situation in Afghanistan and the threats posed by both the Taliban and ISIS may also be flagged.

This week's meetings in Washington appear to be a precursor to the seventh India-U.S. Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, which will be attended by Secretary of State John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

This is Kerry's fourth visit to India as secretary.

Representatives of 12 American agencies will also be in attendance.

Apart from meeting Carter, Parrikar will be paying a visit to 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon, the Cyber Command, Andrews Air Force Base and the Langley Air Force Base over the next two days.

He would also hold interactions with the US business industry associations in a bid to convince them to consider investing in India's defence sector.

On August 31, he will be visiting the Boeing facility in Philadelphia.

(With ANI inputs)