The India-US defence relationship is one of convergence and growing opportunity, since there are many similar threads in geopolitics and multiple mutual interests. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Vivek Lall, Chief Executive, General Atomics' Global Corporation, said the trajectory of this relationship will be upward.
"Over the last decade, the relationship between the US and India has grown tremendously in the defence side. From very humble beginnings the relationship has ratcheted up, defence trade now stands at over $21 billion," Lall said.
Concerning the Predator drone agreement, which has been in the works for five years, Lall stated that there is a continual dialogue between the governments, adding that "we at General Atomics stand by to help India in the needs."
The MQ-9B is the world's most advanced, cutting-edge, and one-of-a-kind technology. "The intention is to serve in the Army, Air Force, and Indian Navy. And I believe that this capacity not only strengthens India's national security, but also the shared convergence of the relationship and the operationalisation of many of the basic agreements that both nations have signed," he added.
Lall said the clients are quite satisfied with the performance of the two Sea Guardian drones that were leased to improve the Indian Navy's overall surveillance capability. These unmanned aircrafts have completed a number of missions pertaining to national security.
According to Vivek, the two countries' defence alliance has grown significantly over the previous decade. "You see some of the greatest capabilities in platforms, as well as significant investments by American corporations in Indian ecosystems to create various aspects such as maintenance, repair, overhaul, training, and logistics.”
"I believe that trend will continue because of their common interests in developing economies of scale and cooperative operations in many of these sectors," he added.
Discussing the process of indigenisation in India, Lall said the Indian government has implemented a number of extremely robust policies.
"The prime minister has implemented several outstanding programmes, such as the PLI programme and others. And I believe the framework is in place; it's just a matter of execution".
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video