With an eye on cementing defence ties with Washington, New Delhi is expected to present a wish list – pinpointing hardware that it wants to buy from the US as well as a road map depicting possible areas of collaboration with American defence contractors – to visiting deputy secretary of defence Ashton Carter on Monday.
India wants to acquire third or fourth generation night-vision devices, personal body armour, attack helicopters and ultra-light howitzers from the US, and enter into joint ventures with the Western superpower for building anti-tank weapons, armoured vehicles, air-to-air advanced missiles and aeronautical platforms.
On a two-day trip to New Delhi for streamlining the Indo-US defence trade and cutting bureaucratic processes, Carter will meet defence minister AK Antony, national security advisor Shiv Shanker Menon, foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and defence secretary Shashi Sharma.
Carter is also expected to brief Indian officials on the US military's plans for the Asia-Pacific, in the backdrop of defence secretary Leon Panetta's July announcement that 60% naval assets would be shifted to the region. The move is aimed at containing Beijing's newfound assertion in the South China Sea.
New Delhi is also concerned over China muscling its way into the South China Sea and expanding its footprint over the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, in Washington, leaders of the India caucus in the US senate urged the administration on Friday to make the defence acquisition systems of the two countries more compatible.