Tech, Defence, Space: “Most Substantive” Outcomes From PM’s United States Visit

PM's United States Visit
PM's United States Visit

According to Ely Ratner who is Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Affairs, people will look back on Prime Minister Modi’s visit as a true starting block for United States-India relations, especially the defence issues.

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The outcomes have been the same as expected. When PM Modi and Joe Biden discussed, the main topics like advanced technology sharing, jet engine manufacturing, semiconductors, AI, and defense industrial collaboration.

According to Modi, the United States is India’s top trading partner for both products and services. India-US relations are diverse, with growing interactions across multiple industries.

In the domains of research and technology, defense, security, education, and health all are intricately related to each other. He noted that the engagement has expanded to include “defense industrial cooperation, space, telecom, quantum, Artificial Intelligence, and biotech sectors” since the introduction of the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) in January. This visit has been very productive in regard to defense, space, and technology.

The collaboration in the areas of technology consists of semiconductors, cyberspace, aircraft, strategic infrastructure, quantum computing, commercial space initiatives, and the application of AI to industrial and defense settings.

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk-II of the Indian Air Force will have fighter jet engines produced jointly by GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), according to a historic statement made on Thursday.

Additionally, India is poised to agree on a deal with US producer General Atomics to purchase MQ-9B Predator armed drones. According to the analysts, the accords would strengthen India-US defense ties.

According to Brigadier (retired) Rahul Bhonsle, a defense specialist, drones would be useful for protecting both India’s northern border and its marine frontier. “This specific drone has the potential to carry out a strike on its own. It can carry out a strike as well as hunt for targets.

It gives the target very little room to run away, Bhonsle told PTI. He further stated, “This contract would be a major success for both the firms, GE Aerospace and HAL. One of the most crucial parts of a fighter aircraft, the engine, is now a guarantee for the IAF.

Defense analyst Qamar Agha said that India is one of a select few nations that would own these armed drones. Typically, the United States only sells these drones to its allies. This is an advanced weapon with a decent range.

Therefore, this agreement is crucial for us, particularly for the Navy, said Agha to PTI. In comparison to the older MQ-1 Predator, the General Atomics MQ-9 “Reaper” has nine times the horsepower and a cargo capacity that is 500% higher.

Additionally, the MQ-9 UAV offers the warfighter extended endurance, ongoing observation, and striking capabilities.

India’s national security and surveillance capabilities are anticipated to be significantly strengthened by the drone agreement, both in the Indian Ocean and along its border with China. The Sky Guardian and Sea versions of the MQ-9B are available.

President Joe Biden said that India and the US are working together to send an astronaut to the international space station in the year 2024 during PM Narendra Modi’s formal visit to the US. India has also made the decision to ratify the Artemis Accords, a NASA project to dispatch people to the Moon once again.

The Artemis program, a massive effort by NASA to send people back to the Moon, includes the Artemis Accords. After the Apollo missions were completed more than 50 years ago, the program aspires to establish a permanent presence in the lunar orbit and on the surface.

The American-led Artemis Accords has an objective to send people to the moon again by 2025 with the optimum aim of extending space travel to Mars and beyond.

By the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025, India intends to launch Gaganyaan, its first manned spacecraft, into a low Earth orbit. Before the Gaganyaan project, an Indian astronaut may visit the International Space Station.

India joins a group of 26 nations dedicated to peaceful, long-term, and open collaboration that will allow for the Moon, Mars, and other planetary exploration.

The US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) aims to collaborate in the semiconductor industry. According to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who was in India for a two-day visit, bilateral cooperation in semiconductor supply chains could produce “substantial results” next week. “AI will transform our economies, our societies, and our national security,” he said.

This visit holds great importance as the cordial ties between the two countries have entered a new phase witnessed by different nations around the globe.

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