U.S. remains deeply confident in India's diversification of defence equipment, says Pentagon’s Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh

Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said that the U.S. encourages all its partners and allies to avoid transactions with Russia

Updated - June 21, 2023 09:11 pm IST

Published - June 21, 2023 04:42 pm IST - Washington

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh. File

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh. File | Photo Credit: AP

The U.S. remains deeply confident in India's diversification of military equipment and believes that Washington's proposal for industrial cooperation will further integrate the defence industries of the two countries, the Pentagon has said.

Pentagon’s Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters at a news conference on June 20, that the U.S. encourages all its partners and allies to avoid transactions with Russia.

“We welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States this week. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visited India just two weeks ago and was able to meet with his counterpart Rajnath Singh, there. What we always will continue to urge our allies and partners around the world is to avoid transactions with Russia,” she said, referring to the sanctions imposed on Moscow.

Also read: Rajnath Singh set to host U.S., German leaders for defence deals

Mr. Modi is visiting the U.S. from June 21-24 at the invitation of U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

“We remain deeply confident in India's diversification of equipment, and over the past decade, our proposal for industrial cooperation will further integrate the U.S. and Indian defence industries. So, I think I'll just leave it at that,” Ms. Singh said.

“That's something that we've continued to reiterate with Turkey, with India, and with others. I think, there are very different and two different cases, and when it comes to India, we remain confident in their diversification of equipment and our ability to integrate with them as well,” she said.

"I'm not going to get ahead of any announcements that might come out from the White House or any other agencies," Ms. Singh said when asked about the possible defence deals that could be signed during Mr. Modi's visit.

Also read: Indian Army’s Air Defence widens wings

India signed a $5 billion deal with Russia in October 2018 for purchasing five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the previous Donald Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite U.S. sanctions.

The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. The ‘Triumf’ interceptor-based missile system can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km.

Russia started delivery of the first regiment of the missile systems in December 2021 and it has been deployed to cover parts of the border with China in the northern sector, as well as the frontier with Pakistan.

In February 2023, Russia said it will soon complete the supplies of the third regiment of the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems to India as both sides are committed to the contract.

Russia has been a major supplier of military hardware to India. The two countries have been holding discussions on what kind of payment mechanisms can work between them in view of the western sanctions on Moscow.

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