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May 25, 2024

India and US Explore Enhanced Space Cooperation in Key Defence Dialogue

Senior defence officials from India and the United States recently convened to explore avenues for bolstering space cooperation. The Pentagon announced that the discussions identified numerous potential areas for collaboration with American industry.

The occasion marked the second annual US-India Advanced Domains Defence Dialogue (AD3), a forum for enhancing bilateral cooperation across various domains. Leading the American delegation was Vipin Narang, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defence for Space Policy, while Vishwesh Negi, India’s Joint Secretary for International Cooperation, headed the visiting Indian team.

During this year’s AD3 Dialogue, Narang and Negi focused on opportunities to strengthen space cooperation. They emphasized identifying potential areas where US industry could collaborate with Indian counterparts. This initiative aims to leverage both nations’ technological advancements and strategic capabilities in the space sector.

Cmdr. Jessica Anderson, a spokesperson for the Department of Defence, highlighted that the discussions were not limited to high-level talks but also included practical engagements. A principal-level tabletop discussion, co-chaired by US and Indian defence officials, delved into specific areas to enhance cooperation in the space domain. This session underscored the commitment of both nations to move beyond dialogue and towards actionable collaboration.

The two sides agreed to further advance the AD3 initiative through regular working group discussions, ensuring continuous progress in the identified areas of cooperation. This structured approach aims to create a robust framework for sustained interaction and development in the space sector.

Additionally, the Indian delegation had the opportunity to engage with various key US defence entities. They interacted with officials from the US Space Command, which plays a critical role in space operations and strategy. The delegation also visited the Joint Commercial Operations Cell, a unit that coordinates commercial space activities with national security interests, reflecting the growing synergy between commercial and defence sectors in space.

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts from across the US Department of Defence also participated in the discussions, underscoring the importance of AI in modern space operations. These interactions provided the Indian delegation with insights into the latest advancements and strategic uses of AI in the space domain, potentially paving the way for future collaborations in AI-driven space technologies.

The engagement between the two nations at the AD3 Dialogue reflects a broader commitment to deepening strategic ties and enhancing cooperation in emerging domains. By focusing on space cooperation, both India and the US are positioning themselves to address future challenges and opportunities in the increasingly contested and vital space environment.

This strengthened partnership is expected to foster innovation, drive technological advancements, and ensure the security and sustainability of space operations. As both nations continue to expand their capabilities and strategic interests in space, the outcomes of the AD3 Dialogue will likely play a crucial role in shaping their collaborative efforts.

In conclusion, the second annual US-India Advanced Domains Defence Dialogue has set a promising trajectory for enhanced space cooperation between the two nations. With regular working group discussions and continued high-level engagements, the partnership is poised to achieve significant advancements in the space domain, benefiting both nations’ strategic interests and industry capabilities.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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