Indian military services may seek U.S. defense equipment once they better understand the characteristics and performance of American weapons, according to Ronen Sen, India’s new ambassador to the United States.
The military services of both countries are engaged in joint exercises and training almost on a weekly basis, Sen said Sept. 7 during a reception hosted for him by the U.S.-India Business Council in Washington. The council promotes bilateral commerce and business.
“Right now, we are exchanging ideas among people, getting to know them and the [U.S.] systems,” he said. “Then we will move into procurement of some of the [defense] items.”
U.S. forces have strong conventional military capabilities, Sen said, but India’s armed forces have a lot of experience in urban combat and counterinsurgency operations, which they share with their American counterparts during joint exercises.
Sen, who took office in August, was appointed by the new Indian government, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to replace Lalit Mansingh. Sen has been a career foreign service officer for the past 30 years and recently served as India’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom.
The new government in New Delhi, elected in May, intends to continue economic reforms pursued by the previous government, Sen said, noting the raising of limits on foreign investment in India’s telecommunications and financial sectors.
As India’s ambassador, Sen said he would promote two-way trade between the two countries and work to enlarge Indian investment in the United States.