India and the United States today agreed to take their Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) forward with the two sides looking at co-development and co-production of defence equipment.
Towards this, the two countries announced the setting up of a coordination committee consisting of the secretary, department of defence production from the Indian side and the under secretary for acquisition, technology and licensing at the Pentagon from the US side.
The decision was taken at the delegation level meeting between defence minister Arun Jaitley and US secretary of defence Chuck Hagel, who is on a three-day visit to the country.
Both sides took note of the progress made over the years in deepening defence ties and reaffirmed their desire to further enhance bilateral defence cooperation, especially in technology and discussed ways for strengthening this partnership.
''The development of our own indigenous capabilities is a major objective that guides our present policies. In this direction, we have taken steps to raise the FDI cap in the defence sector. We look forward to work closely with the US in this regard,'' defence minister Arun Jaitley said.
The two sides also decided to take steps for the extension of the New Framework for the US-India defence relationship, well before it expires in July 2015.
Secretary Hagel also laid a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti. He was presented an inter-services guard of honour in the forecourt of South Block, in the afternoon, when he arrived for the talks.
Hagel invited Jaitley to visit the Pentagon in October during the latter's visit to Washington DC to attend the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. Jaitley has accepted the invitation.
Hagel also called upon the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier in the day he met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
The prime minister welcomed the sustained high-level engagement by the United States with the new government in India.
The Indian prime minister expressed concern about the deteriorating situation in Iraq and its potential implications for the region, where India has vital stakes. Hagel briefed the prime minister on the announcements by President Obama on the steps the United States plans to take to deal with the situation.
Modi also noted that an early completion of the election process in Afghanistan, which enjoys the confidence of the people of Afghanistan, and that a smooth transition of power is essential for sustaining progress towards peace, stability, democracy and development in Afghanistan.
They also discussed their shared interest in peace and stability in wider Asia Pacific region.
The prime minister underlined the importance of defence relations in the overall strategic partnership between the two countries and indicated his desire to see further progress in defence relations, including in defence manufacturing in India, technology transfer in the area of defence, exercises and higher studies in the field of defence.
Modi reiterated that he looked forward to his visit to the United States as an opportunity to see how the world`s oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy can build a partnership for peace, stability and prosperity in the world.