New Delhi , Nov 21 (IANS) Tiger Triumph, the first-ever US-India tri-service exercise concludes on Thursday.
It signals deepening of security ties between the two countries.
With an eye on China, the United States under President Donald Trump has been stressing on a “free and open” Indo Pacific region, as articulated by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper in his talks with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh earlier this week.
This is the first joint exercise which includes all three military arms-army, navy and air force and while the focus was on humanitarian aid and disaster relief it also included search and seizure training.
The 2017 National Security Strategy said the US welcomes “India’s emergence as a leading global power and stronger strategic and defense partner.” It declared unequivocally that the US “will expand our defense and security partnership with India.”
Noting the importance both countries place on engagement with Southeast Asia, Secretary Esper highlighted opportunities to increase US-India collaboration across the region and reinforce our commitment to a rules-based security architecture with ASEAN at its core.
India and US have been termed as natural partners and defence and economic cooperation have been the hallmarks of a growing relationship between the two countries.
On Thursday, coinciding with the conclusion of Tiger Triumph drill, the US has approved over $1 billion worth sale to India of 13 modern naval artillery guns and related equipment for use against warships and to support amphibious operations.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the sale on November 19.
The US arms sales to India are touching the highest ever mark. This year, the Indian Air Force received its first tranche of US-made Apache attack helicopters. This acquisition paves the way for a number of bilateral attack aviation training opportunities.