The United States is keen to make its defence partnership with India stronger, the Pentagon has said, but made it clear that it is against any country purchasing military equipment, including the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, that is designed to counter America’s sophisticated fifth-generation aircraft.
The remarks by a top Pentagon official came in response to a question on India going ahead with its decision to purchase the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.
India inked an agreement with Russia last October to procure a batch of the S-400 missile systems at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore.
“Our defence partnership with India I think is strong and we’re looking to make it ever stronger,” David J Trachtenberg, the deputy under secretary of defence for policy, told reporters at a news conference.
When asked if the US can have a major defence partnership with India, which is going ahead with a decision to buy the S-400, Trachtenberg said, “I think the message we are sending is that we want to make sure that other countries are not purchasing equipment that is designed to counter our sophisticated fifth-generation aircraft.”
“The other message we’re sending is that we are consistent in our approach on this.”