US is a dependable defense supplier: Robert Scher

Washington: With India going for a mammoth multi-billion military modernisation programme, the US, which had lost out on the USD 10 billion MRCA fighter jet deal, says it will be a dependable defense supplier to New Delhi with more cooperative research and development.

"I think everyone believes now that the US is and will continue to be a positive defense supplier that is dependable in the future. I think that`s where we are working from," the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Robert Scher, told PTI in an interview.

"You have to be impressed on how much progress we have been able to make and I firmly believe that as the government of India and the military sees that we are dependable defense suppliers and that our equipment is the best technology in the world, we will see even more defense trade and some more cooperative research and development," Scher said responding to questions on American defense sales to India.

Though the sales has grown significantly in less than a decade, there is still apprehension in some quarters in India that the US cannot be considered as a dependable.

Scher, however, sought to disagree with such an assessment arguing, "If you look at the increase in the defense trade between the US and India and if you look at the major items that India has already purchased or is in the process of procuring from the US, it is hard for me to imagine that there is anything other than a clear positive trajectory in the US India defense ties."