US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter on Monday got a taste of India’s aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya. Ashton, who is on a three-day visit to India was taken aboard the massive warship during his interaction with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The US delegation was taken for a guided tour of the ship, followed by a presentation on her role and capabilities by the Commanding Officer, Captain K Swaminathan.
With his tour of the INS Vikramaditya, Carter has become the first US defense secretary to see the ship. This is Carter’s second trip to India as secretary, and both times involve a coastal stop and a visit to an Indian navy ship.
Carter also visited the Naval Ship Repair Yard and was shown the technical capabilities for repair and maintenance of ships at Karwar, including the state of the art ship lift system, used for docking ships.
Carter is on a two-day tour of Karwar in neighbouring Karnataka and Goa before proceeding to New Delhi.
In brief remarks, Carter has earlier said it is critically important for the U.S. and India to expand their military relationship, including greater cooperation on high-tech projects and ship and fighter jet development. He has described the relationship as one “destined to be one of the most significant partnerships of the 21st century.”
Parrikar has said India and the US will discuss the further movement in Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) during Carter’s visit. “The DTTI discussions will be held in New Delhi on April 12,” Parrikar said earlier.
Parrikar said the DTTI talks will be held with the possibility to ensure that Centre’s flagship initiative ‘Make In India’ is made an integral part of it.
“There are many important issues to be discussed. India wants to establish best defence cooperation with the US. Many issues of importance will be finalised in the bilateral talks in Delhi,” Parrikar said.
(With inputs from PTI & AP)