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India-US to ramp up defence ties


New Delhi : India and the US Wednesday resolved to ramp up their defence ties by working to remove differences on a number of bilateral agreements that will ensure greater military-military interaction.

Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony, at a meeting here with his US counterpart Robert Gates, assured Washington of a level playing field as the Indian armed forces eye purchases of military hardware worth Rs.155 billion over the next five years as part of their modernisation drive, an official source said.

“Gates didn’t push for arms sales but saw the distinct possibility of this opening up. He was keen on increasing the scope of our defence cooperation,” the source added.