GE engine deal with Hindustan Aeronautics will have ripple effect across the US and Indian defense industries: US Indian Business Council's Atul Keshap

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 10-06-2023 06:42 IST | Created: 10-06-2023 06:42 IST
GE engine deal with Hindustan Aeronautics will have ripple effect across the US and Indian defense industries: US Indian Business Council's Atul Keshap

A deal between General Electric and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to co-manufacture jet engines in India will have a ''ripple effect'' across the American and Indian defence industries, the head of a top US business advocacy group has said.

The two companies are expected to announce the deal in this regard in and around the official State visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US on June 22.

The two sides remain tight lipped about it as the industry experts are hopeful that the long-awaited deal would have a major impact on the relationship between the two nation.

''Both governments are putting enormous effort into concluding the deal. I wish them great success. I hope it goes through. I think it will have a ripple effect across the US and Indian defence industries, and most importantly our private sector companies. (It) will unleash even more confidence and even more deal making. That leads to strong defence, which is deterrence, which means peace and security,'' Atul Keshap, president of US Indian Business Council, told PTI in an interview.

He stressed that such an agreement between the two countries would be a pretty important deal.

''I don't want to reveal conversations I've had in both governments, but one person told me that if this deal were to go through, it would impact the US India defence relationship for four decades in a positive way,'' Keshap said.

''When you think about the scale of the engines, it's hundreds of them going into India's advanced multi role combat aircraft. It would involve a collaboration closer than we've ever had, and it would go on for many decades because those airplanes will be bought by the Indian taxpayer and expected to fly for 40 years as ours do," he said.

He praised the possible deal.

''Our planes fly longer and longer because we do avionics upgrades and capability upgrades, weapons systems, engine upgrades. So I think what India's doing or hoping to do is to get an even more powerful and performative engine into its next platform. And we support that,'' Keshap said.

Responding to a question, Keshap said that Prime Minister Modi's administration has put enormous effort into ease of doing business in India and clearing up the regulatory environment and making India a more attractive destination.

''Think about the fact that we are now solid Quad partners. The Quad is really important so that the US and India and Japan and Australia are investing so heavily in the Quad is a reflection of how much we trust each other and how much we have overcome the legacy of distrust in various areas. The nuclear deal was essential to unlock the Quad. … I feel like strategically we're doing really well. When you look at the Quad, you look at military defense, military intelligence, diplomatic engagement, law enforcement, counterterrorism, things are very strong. Also, scientific collaboration, very, very strong," he said.

According to Keshap, the ICET (Initiative of Critical and Emerging Technology) is as important as the nuclear deal in unleashing that next big arena of US-India, deep tech, future tech cooperation.

"We've learned from the pandemic that we trust each other, that we're willing to do the most sensitive things with each other with regard to technology. That also kind of implies there are people we don't trust, and we want to keep our channel clean in a high trust ecosystem. So strategy is good, the economy is getting better, and technology is now beginning in earnest. That's the main theme of this visit (of the prime minister to India)," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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