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India to get access to 99% of US defence technologies

New Delhi, June 26 (Online): India will be the only country outside US’ formal treaty allies that will gain access to almost 99 per cent of latest American defence technologies after being recognized as a ‘Major Defence Partner’, Indian media quoting a senior Obama administration official reported on Sunday.

“India (now) enjoys access to (defence) technologies that is on par with our treaty allies. That is a very unique status. India is the only other country that enjoys that status outside our formal treaty allies,” the official told PTI explaining what ‘Major Defence Partner’ status means for India.

Earlier this month, after a meeting between US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House, the US, in a joint statement, recognized India as a ‘Major Defence Partner’.

“We were looking for something unique. This language you would not find in any arms transfer legislation or any of our existing policies. This is new guidance and new language that is intended to reflect the unique things that we have done with India under our defence partnership,” the senior administration official said.

“This is intended to solidify the India-specific forward leaning policies for approval that the (US) President and (Defense) Secretary (Ashton) Carter…and our export control system have implemented in the last eight years,” the official said.

Under this recognition, India would receive license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with steps that New Delhi has committed to take to advance its export control objectives.

Acknowledging that the impression in New Delhi is that India is not getting access to the kind of technology it needs from the US, the official said it is a constant source of discussion.