NSA Ajit Doval with his US counterpart Jake Sullivan with ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandu

US NSA Jake Sullivan is in the capital today to finalize the agreements that will be penned during PM Modi’s state visit to the US next week

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi today even as he will sit with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval to hammer out future multi-pronged bilateral cooperation including a USD 2.7 billion semiconductor chip-making facility in India by Idaho-based Micron Technology, sharing of high-performance quantum computing technology and finalize the manufacturing of US aircraft engines in India. Sullivan will also be meeting External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Sullivan’s visit to India comes on the eve of PM Modi’s state visit to the US next week with both natural allies all set to push the bilateral cooperation to the next level. Accompanied by US Indo-Pacific Coordinator at the National Security Council Kurt Campbell, the US NSA will also discuss the situation in the Indo-Pacific in the wake of increasing Chinese assertiveness over Taiwan and the South China Sea. The recent incident of a Chinese warship making a dangerous and deliberate pass across the bows of a US-guided missile destroyer in the South China Sea has caused major concern among Quad countries.

It is understood that while the US State Department bureaucracy with its past legacy was resisting intensifying defence and hi-tech cooperation with India, it is the Pentagon and NSA Sullivan who have pushed the agenda to make PM Modi’s forthcoming visit to the US historic. Fact is that the US has never shared aircraft engine technology for manufacturing in a third country including the “hot engine” technology with even their closest ally. Despite the State Department trying to place hurdles, the Pentagon and National Security Council under Sullivan have ensured that 100 per cent transfer of technology for the manufacture of GE’s F-414 engine is possible in India. It is the same engine that will empower DRDO’s designed and developed Tejas Mark II fighter, which will form the backbone of the Indian Air Force’s capability. India is also looking towards US defence majors to manufacture high-end ammunition like loiter bombs, air-to-air missiles and long-range guided artillery bombs in the country.

While chip makers like Micron Technology have taken a decision to invest in manufacturing in India, the Modi government is looking at top semiconductor chip makers like Intel Corporation to come to India to establish a global supply chain that is not dependent on China or Taiwan only.

Both the NSAs will also discuss sharing of US technology with India on quantum computing for processing gazillion data collected all over the country as well as technology to make Indian critical infrastructure protected from cyber attacks from China and Pakistan.

Besides, the two sides will be deepening cooperation in the fields of telecommunication, 6G technologies, rare earth metals mining and in space. The two NSAs covered all the above grounds for cooperation during the meeting on initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) in Washington on January 31, 2023 and the required amendments to rules to translate these deals on ground were discussed during the first India-US Strategic Trade Dialogue meeting last week.