India, United States talk defence

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New Delhi: While the United States is understood to be pushing for strengthening of defence ties with India, including inking of crucial deals worth billions of dollars, the two countries also dec-ided on Friday to appo-int nodal officers to co-develop and co-produce defence hardware.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, voiced concern over the deteriorating situation in Iraq and also said in a meeting with visiting US defence secretary Chuck Hagel that he looked forward to his summit with President Barack Obama to discuss how India and the US could build a partnership for global peace and stability.

The two countries could work on co-develo-ping versions of the Javelin anti-tank guided missile through transfer of technology from the US to India but the defence hardware would be decided jointly by the two countries.

In a separate meeting on Friday, defence minister Arun Jaitley told the visiting US dignitary about India’s growing indigenous capabilities in defence and the move to raise the FDI cap in the defence sector to 49 per cent.

The US is keen to ink various deals with India, estimated to be worth more than Rs 20,000 crore, including the sale of Apache helicopters for the IAF and

Army and Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and the M-777 ultra-light howitzers for the Indian Army.

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