Allaying doubts over the sale of Javelin anti-tank missile to India, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta Wednesday said the US is "committed” to providing the weapon to India.
Panetta was clarifying the doubts over the reports which suggested that the US has drastically scaled down the number of the new generation missile to be sold to India, putting the entire deal into question.
"We have not cut the quantity... I want to reassure that we are committed to the sale of Javelin to India and are working closely not only for that but other (military) sales that will help in increasing (Indian) capability,” he said.
Panetta said US Defence sales to India have crossed 8 billion mark over the past decade but the two sides must now mature from the current "buyer-seller” relationship to co-production and "high-technology joint research and development”.
He also said the US is working to streamline its bureaucratic processes to facilitate military sales to India. "I have asked my deputy secretary Ash Carter to lead an effort at the Pentagon to engage with Indian leaders on a new initiative to streamline our bureaucratic processes and make our defense trade more simple, responsive, and effective,” he said.
Facing criticism for curbing sale and development of high-end Defence technology, Panetta said the US is working to tweak its export control laws. He, however, also called on India to initiate reforms.