• India, U.S. to conclude pact on aircraft carrier cooperation

    India and the U.S. may not have signed the Logistics Support Agreement as planned during Defence Secretary Ashton Carter’s visit early this week but both sides are close to finalising an Information Exchange Agreement (IEA) on aircraft carrier technologies, as well as cooperation on air wing operations for carrier Vikrant under construction at Kochi.

    The IEA will formalise the exact technology that the U.S. will share and at what classification level, design side, operations among other things, a senior U.S. Admiral said. Both sides had already signed the Terms of Reference on June 17, 2015 during the first meeting of the India-U.S. Joint Working Group (JWG) on carrier technology cooperation.

    “We provided them a draft when I visited them in February and it is going through the necessary channels of the Indian government to make sure you are ok with it. We are very close,” said Rear Admiral Tom Moore in an exclusive interview to The Hindu, in the US capital late last month. He is the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers, and the Co-chair of the JWG. From the Indian side it is chaired by Vice Admiral G.S. Pubby, Controller for Warship Production and Acquisition.

    “It is a necessary document to take the next step. We have made a lot of progress over the last year,” he noted. 

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