The United States is ready to help India with its latest defence technologies and equipment, but New Delhi's purchasing long-range S-400 missile defence system from Russia would limit this cooperation, the Trump administration has cautioned.
The statement came weeks after an identical warning from a senior State Department official who had said that New Delhi’s deal to procure the lethal missile system from Moscow would have 'serious implications' on bilateral defence ties.
The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile system and China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal in 2014 for the system.
India and Russia signed a 5 billion dollar S-400 air defence system deal in October after wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Senior State Department official (South and Central Asian Affairs) Alice G Wells told House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation, that the US now did more military exercises with India than any other country.
'Under the Trump administration, we’ve been very clear that we’re ready to help meet India’s defence needs and we are seeking a very different kind of defence partnership building on the ‘Major Defence Partner’ designation that India has received from Congress,' Wells said.