American Chamber of Commerce in India
Apex Chamber of U.S. Industry in India
U.S.-India Defense Partnership Seminar at Aero India 2021 – 04 February 2021
On February 4th, AMCHAM coordinated an excellent seminar focused on the U.S.-India defense partnership at Yelahanka Air Force Station, Bengaluru, at Aero India covering pertinent topics such as investment challenges by U.S. industry in India, partnerships and joint venture opportunities with Indian industry, connecting with Indian defense MSMEs and start-ups and connecting Indian defense industry to the global supply chain, amongst others. The seminar brought together leadership from the U.S. Department of Defense, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, U.S. and Indian industries to discuss opportunities and challenges in defense and aerospace in India. Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher, Defense Attaché, U.S. Embassy New Delhi gave the U.S. perspective and overview on the U.S.-India defense partnership. Mr. Raj Kumar, Secretary Defence Production, Government of India delivered the keynote address virtually at the world’s first hybrid air show.
The first panel session covered an overview of current and future of U.S.-India defense partnership and was moderated by Mr. Salil Gupte, Chairman, AMCHAM and President, Boeing India. The U.S. government overview was shared virtually by Ms. Heidi Grant, Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, while the Indian government perspective was shared by Mr. V.L. Kantha Rao, Director General (Acquisitions), Ministry of Defence. The other panelists for the discussion included Mr. Ravindra Nirgudkar, Managing Director – India, BAE Systems, Mr. N Raveeswaran (virtual), Head – Aerospace & Defense Strategic Business and Chief Strategy Officer, Mahindra Defence and Mr. J.R. McDonald, Vice President, Business Development, Lockheed Martin.
The next panel session focused on partnership between U.S. industry and Indian industry and was moderated by Mr. William Blair, Chairman – Northern Region, AMCHAM, Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Vice President and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India. The U.S. government perspective was shared virtually by Mr. Michael Vaccaro, Director for International Armaments Cooperation (IAC), Acquisition & Sustainment, U.S. Department of Defense. The industry panelists for the session were Cmde Mukesh Bhargava (Retd), Member of the Board, Larsen & Toubro, Mr. S. Krishna Kumar, General Manager (Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC)), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Mr. Alok Nanda, CTO, GE South Asia, CEO, GE India Technologies, RDML(Retd) Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defense India and Mr. Parag Wadhawan, Managing Director – Collins Aerospace India, Raytheon Technologies. The seminar had in person participants as well as a virtual audience.