India, Italy Begin New Chapter in Defence Ties

The discussions, which took place during the first leg of his visit to Italy and France, centered around an array of defence cooperation areas…reports Asian Lite News

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, met with his Italian counterpart Guido Crosetto in Rome on Monday (October 9, 2023), initiating a new chapter in defence collaboration between the two nations. 

The discussions, which took place during the first leg of his visit to Italy and France, centered around an array of defence cooperation areas, including training, information sharing, maritime exercises, and maritime security. But most prominently, the spotlight was on the vast opportunities for defence industrial cooperation.

Singh, highlighting the potential of the emergent tech ecosystem in India, mooted for closer ties between Indian startups and established Italian defence companies. This proposition is seen as an avenue to infuse fresh innovation into the defence sectors of both nations.

Subsequent to the deliberations, an “Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Defence” was inked. This comprehensive pact covers a spectrum of collaborative areas:

1. Security and Defence Policy: A commitment to working on joint strategic objectives and ensuring regional stability.
2. Research & Development (R&D): Mutual collaboration on pioneering defence technology, emphasizing sustainable and futuristic solutions.
3. Military Education: Enabling exchange programs and joint training sessions for military personnel to foster shared knowledge.
4. Maritime Domain Awareness: A special focus on collaborative maritime operations and bolstering maritime security.
5. Defence Information Sharing: An initiative to share vital defence intelligence, ensuring that both nations benefit from pooled resources.
6. Industrial Cooperation: This extends to co-development, co-production, and even the establishment of joint ventures, thereby deepening industrial ties.

Singh took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his satisfaction with the proceedings, stating, “Had a warm and productive meeting with the Italian Defence Minister Mr. Guido Crosetto in Rome. An Agreement on Defence Cooperation was also signed between India and Italy. We look forward to further consolidating our defence partnership.”

The agreement also has clauses that could potentially see billions invested in joint ventures over the next decade, leveraging the industrial prowess of Italy and the rapidly expanding technological landscape of India.

On a ceremonial note, Singh was accorded a Guard of Honour at Villa Madama. Indian Ambassador to Italy Neena Malhotra, alongside senior Italian functionaries, warmly received him upon his touchdown at Ciampino Airport.

This meeting, a part of Singh’s European tour, is seen by analysts as a major step in India’s broader strategy to cultivate robust defence partnerships globally, positioning itself as both a key market and a contributor to global defence innovation. (India News Network)

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