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US, India join hands to develop cutting-edge weaponry

Posted February. 02, 2023 07:39,   

Updated February. 02, 2023 07:39


The United States on Tuesday released the Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), an initiative jointly agreed upon with India to develop state-of-the-art weapon systems, including jet engines and support semiconductor manufacturing networks. It seemingly intends not only to strengthen a cooperative relationship with India to keep China in check but also to bring India into the picture as a replacement for China in global semiconductor supply chains.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval held a meeting on Tuesday at the White House to issue the set. The U.S. government announced that it would work with India to draw a roadmap to accelerate the development and production of national defense technologies, adding that it will have a swift review of GE’s plan to work with India to produce jet engines. Part of the U.S. plan is to manufacture long-range artillery systems and Stryker vehicles in India, which is currently embroiled in a territorial dispute with China over the Himalayas.

Washington has forged a cooperative relationship to produce weapon systems with Japan, Australia, and India. The U.S.-India agreement can allow Washington to help lower India’s dependence on Russian arms and secure a new production base for arms development aimed at China. With that, it can facilitate its efforts to enhance cooperation for security among the Quad partners, a group of four countries created to keep China in check. Advisor Sullivan described the initiative as a new milestone in the U.S.-India relationship following the Civil Nuclear Agreement signed in 2016, saying that geopolitical competition against China serves as a core axis in the U.S-India relationship.

The two countries also agreed to strengthen cooperation in semiconductors, next-generation telecoms systems, and aerospace and moon exploration projects. The White House announced a plan for the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association and the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association to form a dedicated team to help design and manufacture semiconductors and improve related ecosystems in India. Added to the U.S. initiative to develop cutting-edge semiconductors with Japan, Washington aims to diversify cutting-edge semiconductor supply chains, which South Korea and Taiwan currently lead.

It is also interpreted that Washington intends to nurture semiconductor experts in India as there is a growing concern for a labor shortage due to the CHIPS and Science Act which has increased overseas investments in manufacturing facilities in the United States. The Wall Street Journal analyzed that Washington wants to help India replace China in global supply chains.